Kebs to burn substandard goods in Kisumu

The Kenya Bureau of Standards (Kebs) market surveillance team is today set to destroy more than 10,000 cartons seized substandard goods at KEMRI incinerator in Kisumu as the firm seeks to eradicate fake products across the country.

Reports reveal that majority of the seized goods are cosmetic products, alcohol, drinking water and flavoured fruit drink juices among other goods.

The exercise seeks to serve as a deterrent to traders and manufacturers of such products and will ultimately enhance compliance of products to Kenyan standards.

Kebs has recently been making moves to eliminate counterfeit goods as well as curb the distribution of fake products.

In recent months, the regulator has been on a warpath, destroying contraband and urging organisations to stay vigilant.

In April, Kebs advised organisations to adopt the International Organisation for Standardisation’s (ISO) standards with a goal to mitigate various business risks.

Up to date, only 600 organisations have taken up ISO standards in the country.

Speaking during a customer awareness forum held in Nairobi, Kebs Managing Director, Charles Ongwae, said with increased complexity in the business environment, it is important that companies incorporate standards in the overall strategic plan.

According to statistics from ISO, there were a total of 1,609,294 certificates issued to companies globally in 2014.

The certification body aims at reaching out to at least 50 per cent institutions to apply for ISO 9001 quality management system as a minimum by the year 2030 whose end game is to improve quality of goods and services.

“I urge all organisations, both public and private to incorporate both local and international standards in their business delivery plans. It is important that your companies diversify their uptake of critical standards such as Environmental Management System, Information Security Management System, Business Continuity Systems and Risk Management Systems,” said Ongwae.

Last month, Kebs announced that it is set to introduce a new Import Standardisation Mark (ISM) to deal with skyrocketing cases involving the counterfeiting of its quality marks.

Scheduled to be rolled out in July, the mark has security features that will help the standards agency sensitise the business community across major towns in Kenya.

Once unveiled, importers and clearing agents will have to acquire the new mark for their goods to be accepted into the country.

“Unlike the old mark, which had no security features, the new mark is buoyed by a tracking software technology, helping the agency to account for each and every sticker found in the market,” Ongwae said.

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