Manufacturers applying for the Standardisation Mark (SM) will from today, 1st July, be issued with a permit valid for two years and accessible electronically.
The revision of the Standardisation Mark scheme comes as the Kenya Bureau of Standards (Kebs) seeks to improve efficiency and enhance the ease of doing business in Kenya. It is being done by addressing logistical and administrative challenges, including delays in the processing of SM permits that have often led to the loss of business opportunities and undue shortages of goods.
In a statement issued in Nairobi, Kebs Managing Director Bernard Njiraini said that under the revised SM scheme, manufacturers would be issued with a permit valid for two instead of one year, as has been the case.
“Manufacturers will also be able to apply and pay for the SM Permit online. The permit will also be prepared and transmitted electronically. This will save time and cut costs associated with manual applications,” said Njiraini.
Kebs will also issue guidelines for accepting test reports, which have been done in accredited laboratories for product certification.
The Standardisation Mark permit, which is a mandatory requirement for placement of goods in the Kenyan market, is issued to manufacturers for products whose compliance with established standards has been ascertained.
“Under the revised SM scheme, the issuance of Standardisation Mark permits will be based on factory inspection and product sampling for laboratory tests. Throughout the two year period, Kebs inspectors will carry out targeted and random market surveillance, factory inspection and sampling the products for testing,” he added.
Firms will also be required to maintain in-house testing and quality control records, as agreed in the respective schemes of supervision and control. These records shall constitute the basis for maintenance of the product certification and future permit renewal.
In addition, Kebs has developed a guideline document for remote assessment to complement the traditional on-site assessment during extraordinary events or circumstances such as the Covid-19 pandemic as part of the business continuity strategy.
Currently, 14,400 valid SM permits have been issued by Kebs to manufacturers.