All importers will be required to subject their cargo to an inspection from the country of origin starting today.
Trade Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya on Wednesday said the Kenya Bureau of Standards (Kebs) will no longer be allowed to carry out inspection for goods entering the Kenyan market without a Pre-Export Verification of Conformity to Standards (PVOC).
The conformity assessment programme, started in September 2005, applies to products at the respective exporting countries to ensure their compliance with the applicable Kenyan standards.
Through legal notice No127, all consignments on the PVOC that landed from October 2018 were supposed to have been inspected from the market of origin.
Mr Munya, who has been giving exemptions to importers since then, said he will no longer exempt them.
“All importers are notified that with effect from January 23, 2019, no requests for destination inspection will be received by the minister,” Mr Munya said.
Traders whose goods arrive without the mandatory inspection will be required to ship them back at their own cost in a move meant to relieve port authorities of pressure that has been heightened with the fight against illicit cargo.
Kenya appointed five inspection agencies stationed in various parts of the world to carry out the inspection on behalf of Kebs.
They are: Bureau Veritas S.A, Intertek International Limited, China Certification and Inspection Company Limited (CCIC) and Cotecna Inspection S.A will now have more work to do in the wake of the new directive.
In October 2018, Kebs suspended the services of Swiss-based SGS from inspecting goods being imported to Kenya from Japan, Korea (South and North), Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, Singapore, Vietnam and Cambodia.
The CCIC, on the other hand, was barred from inspecting goods destined to Kenya from China Mainland, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Mongolia.
Mr Munya said the six months suspension was meant to enforce compliance and tighten loopholes used by importers to smuggle fake goods into the country.
“We will remain vigilant to ensure that the inspection agents do their work properly to bar fake goods from entering our market. We will still conduct random inspection even for certain goods already bearing the certificate of conformity from the country of origin,” Mr Munya said.