Kenya: The Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) has enhanced its market surveillance capacity to cover all 47 counties in a bid to eradicate substandard goods.
The standardisation agency has recruited at least 30 officials whose role is to enhance service delivery especially in market surveillance, quality assurance, and testing and calibration services. KEBS has also enhanced its motor vehicle fleet to support service delivery.
“With the new vehicles and newly hired officers, KEBS has enhanced its capacity to carry out market surveillance activities with a goal of increasing quality compliance level for both locally manufactured and imported products,” said KEBS Chairman Lucas Maitha. He urged other State agencies to help eradicate sub-standard goods seeping through porous borders.
“Although the increased staff capacity and transportation will increase KEBS' presence in the counties to effectively carry out its mandate in quality assurance and market surveillance, we call upon Kenyans to be vigilant and report any goods they suspect to be substandard,” he said.
He also urged Kenyans to take advantage of the short message platform to verify on the quality of goods they are purchasing. KEBS has introduced an SMS service through number 20023 to facilitate consumers, retailers and businesses to query whether products offered for sale are certified. Consumers can now verify the authenticity of permits and marks of quality by sending a text message to the said number.
KEBS is also working on implementation of a new technology to mitigate counterfeiting of KEBS Quality Marks. Once this is fully rolled out the quality marks will have full trace-ability to the products for which they were issued.
“The new technology will facilitate efficient dissemination of information collected through quality assurance, import inspection, testing, market surveillance and monitoring,” he said.