Insights on KEBS and Import inspection in Kenya
Are you planning to import goods to Kenya? As usual, correct information is key to success. Our article shares insights on KEBS and import inspection in Kenya.
What is The Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS)?
The Kenya Bureau of Standards abbreviated KEBS is the government agency in charge of provision of standards, Metrology, and conformity Assessment services (SMCA).
KEBS is also a member of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). ISO is the international body that develops standards to ensure, safety, quality and efficiency of products, services and systems. It is composed of representatives from various nations.
WHAT ARE THE TYPES OF STANDARDIZATION MARKS?
This is a mandatory product certification scheme for locally manufactured products. For you to acquire the mark, manufactured goods are expected to meet quality requirements as specified in the various Kenya/Approved Standards. A permit to use a Standardization Mark is issued to a firm to certify that a particular product meets the necessary requirements.
Diamond Mark of Quality
The Diamond Mark of Quality (D-Mark) is a voluntary product certification scheme operated by KEBS. It is a mark of excellence awarded to manufacturers (either based locally or abroad) which has demonstrated high degree of excellence in product manufacturing and quality.
Diamond Mark of quality permit holders thus qualify automatically for the standardization mark (SM) without any additional payments.
The permit to use the mark is valid for period of three years subject to satisfactory quality performance and full compliance to other contractual obligations signed between KEBS and the permit holder.
Import Standardization Mark of Quality
KEBS developed and implemented secure Quality Marks/ stickers complete with Track and Trace software since 1st August 2015.
This project was aimed at dealing with rampant faking of KEBS Quality Marks and provide a platform through which KEBS will be able to carry out on-field real-time validation and verification of goods bearing its Quality Marks.
All importers of the aforementioned goods will be required to purchase Import Standardization Mark (ISM) stickers directly from KEBS. Importers will be required to apply for ISM by submitting Copies of Certificate of Conformity, Import Declaration Form and Customs Entry to KEBS.
Fortification Mark of Quality
Food fortification is the addition of one or more vitamin and/or mineral to a food (usually referred to as food vehicle) to correct or prevent a demonstrated micronutrient deficiency. Fortification of the some products was made mandatory by The Ministry of Public Health and Sanitation. They include Wheat Flour – with Zinc and Iron, Dry Milled Maize Products- with Zinc and Iron, Salt- with Iodine, Vegetable Fats and Oils- with vitamin A.
What Is The Process Of KEBS Import Inspection?
If you want to export your goods to Kenya, there are steps that need to be followed from your country of origin. Let us begin by understanding how you can go about it.
The PVOC (Pre-Export Verification of Conformity) Program is a conformity assessment program applied to products at the respective exporting countries, to ensure their compliance with the applicable Kenyan Technical Regulations and Mandatory Standards or approved specifications.
So what do you need to qualify?
Check/contact KEBS partners in your region
First you have to check if there is PVoC (Pre-Export Verification of Conformity) for Exports to Kenya agent in the export country that collaborates with the Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS).
Once you confirm the availability of the agent, submit your application accompanied with supporting documents.
The KEBS agent/Partner in the Export country will contacts the exporter to request for mandatory documents. They may also ask for any other relevant information they may need.
The mandatory documents include detailed products description, goods verification and a copy of the shipment invoice.
Thereafter, the agent/partner will coordinate with the supplier/exporter for carrying out the applicable interventions which includes; inspection, sampling/testing
The reports and supporting documents are submitted for review against the required standards.
After successful review of the reports and supporting documents either; a certificate of conformity is issued. This is a proof that the goods meet the required KEBS import standards to Kenya A non-conformity report (NCR) is issued if the goods to not meet Kenyan importation standards.
There are four levels of compliance used in The PVOC (Pre-Export Verification of Conformity) Program referred to as routes. They include:
A – This level is for exporters with irregular shipments.
B – For exporters with regular/ frequent shipments (registered products)
C – for manufacturers with regular and high-volume shipments (licensed products)
D – for consolidators registered with KEBS with consolidated product shipments
Products exempted from The PVOC (Pre-Export Verification of Conformity) Program
Exemptions apply if the product being imported is licensed under some government agencies. The government agencies include but are not limited to:
- The Pharmacy and Poisons board in charge of importation of Organs and glands and blood and related products.
- Radio Protection Board which regulates importation of short shelf life radioactive materials imported by hospitals for medical purposes,
- Fisheries department this exemption only covers live animals which include fish, crustaceans, mollusks, fish eggs and other live aquatic invertebrates.
- Kenya Maritime Authority – Exemptions apply for Ships above 24 meters and floating structures shipped for registration and operation in the country. Ships below 24 meters imported under their own power.
There is also a criteria for exemption of specific importers from PVOC (Pre-Export Verification of Conformity) requires.
We will touch on a few but it is important to note that each category has requirements put in place by KEBS for import in Kenya
- Diplomats and diplomatic mission
- Importers of products regulated by other government agencies.
- Registered manufacturers importing raw materials, machinery and spares for own use.
- Importers of goods certified by KEBS under Diamond Mark Scheme.
- Importers of goods manufactured within East African Community (EAC).
- General consumables (stores) imported by International carriers for inflight / ships services and duty free goods
- Importers of new vehicles / Mobile Equipment.
On a final note, in this article our aim is to give you information on KEBS import and or export to Kenya. If you are planning to venture into a new market, due diligence is key. Ensure you have the right information.
Should you have any question on the above article, please do not hesitate to contact me via email at firstname.lastname@example.org