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CS Adan Mohamed warns traders over quality of products sold in the market

By James Anyanzwa | October 15th 2014

The Government has cautioned manufacturers and traders against compromising quality of products especially those that negatively impact on safety, health and environment.

Cabinet Secretary for Industrialisation & Enterprise Development Adan Mohamed said adherence to quality standards is also key if the country has to gain competitiveness in the global economy.

"Compliance to standards is key for entering global value chains and gaining competitive advantage into more profitable market segments," he said.

Mr Mohamed said businesses which fail to implement quality standards risk having goods and services rejected in the marketplace. He said although Government would support and facilitate the manufacture, trade and use of quality products, it was the onus of manufacturers, traders and consumers to ensure the quality of products.

"The development of major economic policy papers such as the Export Strategy Paper and the Kenya Vision 2030 are proof that Government is committed to promoting application of standards and gain access into global markets," he said during an event to commemorate the Word's Standards Day, which coincided with the 40th anniversary of the Kenya Bureau of Standards (Kebs) yesterday.

It is argued that both foreign and domestic investments and trade are stifled as a result of unfair competition posed by the sale of substandard goods in the market. Substandard goods are those that fall short of the minimum set standards to protect the health and safety of the consumers, the environment and prevention of fraudulent practices.

The national standards body has unveiled an Integrated Quality Assurance and Inspection System to enable traders apply for their permits online and on their mobile phone. The new system will be used for issuance of standardisation marks, clearance of imports and market surveillance.

Kebs Managing Director Charles Ongwae said the new technology would facilitate efficient dissemination of information collected through Quality Assurance, Import inspection, Testing, market Surveillance and monitoring both in the format of different certificates and in data to support compliance.

"It will be integrated with the existing Financial Management System and the Laboratory Information Management System. Our consumers from Mombasa to Malaba border will be able to verify the authenticity of the permits and marks of quality through sending a text message from a mobile phone," he said.

Kenya Association of Manufacturers estimates that Kenya loses Sh50 billion annually to illicit trade.

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