Guidelines to be followed in alcohol manufacturers' vetting process

PS Interior Raymond Omollo speaking during a meeting in Nairobi on March 7th, 2024. (Collins Oduor, Standard)

As the government embarks on a nationwide vetting of alcohol manufacturers, the Ministry of Interior and National Administration have released a guideline on how the process will be conducted.

The government had constituted a multi-agency team to spearhead the process that began on March 18 in a bid to step up the fight against illicit liquor.

In the first step of the vetting process, manufacturers are to receive letters confirming the inspection visit by the vetting multi-agency team.

The Kenya Revenue Authority will then break the seal of closed production units, including unlicensed manufacturers and second-hand generation distillers whose businesses had been shut down following a directive by Principal Secretary Raymond Omollo

Finally, the vetting team will conduct a thorough tour of the premises to inspect the production facilities, storage areas, and overall operational setup. 

The vetting team comprises members from the State Department for Internal Security and National Administration, the Office of the Deputy President, the State Department for Public Health and Professional Standards, the State Department for Trade, the State Department for Labour and Skills Development, NACADA, Kenya Revenue Authority, Kenya Bureau of Standards, Anti Counterfeit Authority, and NEMA. 

Each relevant body will be present to ensure that the process is a success as Kenya Bureau of Standards will focus on ensuring that the products meet the required quality and safety standards.

Kenya Revenue Authority shall check for compliance with tax regulations and remittance of dues as the Anti-Counterfeit Authority ensures the accuracy of product labelling and checks records of ethanol purchases.

Further, the Directorate of Occupational Safety and Health Services will be responsible for certifying certificates related to occupational safety and health standards and compliance.

National Environment Management Authority will inspect the location’s environmental compliance and adherence to waste management regulations as Public health inspects health-related aspects.

Additionally, the State Department of Trade will verify that certified meters are used for accurate measurement in the production process. 

On March 19, the ministry said that the process will focus on spirit manufacturers.

“The focus will be on spirit manufacturers, with over 29 premises expected to undergo examination. Already, 35 companies have been identified as having their licenses either previously suspended, cancelled or found dormant,” said Omollo.

PS Omollo said that for a manufacturer to be verified, the company has to install quality control laboratories equipped with special testing apparatus and qualified personnel and ensure intense scrutiny of raw materials and finished products.