Kenya Bureau of Standards (Kebs) has launched an online portal for manufacturers and service providers in a bid to demystify the criteria set to meet certification standards.
The portal offers for sale e-booklets with information on certification requirements for specific products.
The agency is looking to highlight the 2,000 Kenyan, East African and global standards adopted locally for companies to enusre they meet requirements and produce goods as well as provide services that meet international standards.
The portal, which is a joint venture between Kebs and TradeMark East Africa, will benefit mainly local processors, regional fresh produce traders and exporters.
Kebs managing director Charles Ongwae said the new Internet portal would help seal loopholes that processors used to “sneak” products into the market only to be caught peddling uncertified goods bearing fake marks of quality.
Last year, Kebs locked 400 water bottling companies out of the market after testing samples from retail chains only to realise that the Kebs stamps on the products were not genuine and the water had not been processed as per the required standards.
Mr Ongwae told the Business Daily that Kebs officers inspect business premises to ascertain its suitability as well as the raw materials and processing machinery before the final products are certified.
“It is after a rigorous process that we sanction sale of a product. As for imported products, we insist that they must meet requirements in their country of origin or risk seizure upon arrival in Kenya,” he said.
“This is a platform for us to engage with any manufacturers seeking entry into the Kenyan and East African market.
“We anticipate increased flow of queries as manufacturers and service providers seek answers why their products cannot access the main market,” he said.
Mr Ongwae said the new portal also presents the processors a seamless way to communicate with the Kebs and help more companies meet the required standards, making products safer for consumption, domestic and industrial use.
The platform allows any interested person to buy the booklets online and pay on any cashless platform using mobile phones, credit cards or through online banking.
Among booklets available on the Kebs platform are food and agriculture, civil, chemical, electro-technical, mechanical, services, textile and leather as well as metrology.