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North Rift residents sensitized on Standards Levy Order

Residents of the North Rift region have been sensitised on the proposed Standards Levy Order 2023.

As a subsidiary legislation which originates from the Standards Levy Order gazetted by the Ministry of Trade and Industry through Legal Notice No. 267 of June 22, 1990, and became operational on July 1, 1990, the order has introduced new changes in terms of levy exemption and waiver of penalty, among others.

Speaking during a public participation forum in Eldoret town, Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) North Rift Regional Manager Mr. Vincent Cheruiyot said that the proposed amendments to the order were necessitated by various challenges the bureau is facing 33 years down the line since the formulation of the order in 1990, like insufficient financial resources to carry out its mandate.

He underscored that KEBS used to receive direct funding from the national treasury before the order was formed and hence relied only on the standards levy, which was quite low.

The Regional Manager added that the implementation of the proposed standards levy would salvage the Bureau from the current rate of inflation and enable it to obtain sufficient funds to purchase and repair its critical equipment to ensure it is up-to-date to guarantee efficiency since it is the custodian of SI units of measurement within East and Central Africa.

“The inflation rate has gone up, which means the amount of money at that time cannot buy enough items this time. We need money to purchase and repair equipment to ensure accuracy at our labs, which require an annual budget of Sh185 million,” he said.

“The population has grown since 1990 from about 23 million to approximately 55 million currently. We have challenges in supporting MSMEs, which costs us about Sh225 million annually to subsidise in terms of transport, inspection, and testing for quality assurance,” added Cheruiyot.

On her part, KEBS Legal Officer based in Nairobi, Teresia Gachagua, pointed out that the proposed amendments in the Standards Levy Order 2023 provide that a manufacturer is subject to the provisions of Section 10B of the Act and shall pay a levy recoverable at source at the rate of 0.2 per cent of the turnover in respect of the manufacturer each month.

“The levy is subject to a minimum of Kenya Shillings 1000 per month, and the provisions of this order shall not apply to a manufacturer whose turnover does not exceed Sh1,000,000 per annum,” she explained.

According to the Standards Act, CAP 496 of the laws of Kenya, to manufacture initially is to produce, process, treat, install, test, operate, or use at a minimum and maximum levy payable of Sh1000 per month and Sh400,000 per year.

She further explained that a person liable to a penalty under Section 10B of the Standards Act may apply in writing to the Director for the waiver of the penalty payable, including the reasons thereof.

In regard to the excess payment levy, where the manufacturer has made an excess of the levy payable to the Fund, the payment shall be deemed to be prepayment of the levy in the subsequent months.

By Ekuwam Sylvester and Abigael Cherono

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