Products –Hours after Acting Managing Director Esther Ngari reported that some locally made products do not need to be tested by the Kenya Bureau of Standards KeBS, the agency has now come clear that her statement was taken out of context by both members of the public and the media.
The MD, appearing in Parliament, on Thursday August 10, said that not every product manufactured locally must be tested.
She went on to add that their organization has to, sometimes, relly on trust and history of the manufacturer to have products on supermarket shelves.
“Issuance of the standardisation mark attests to an assessed capability to manufacture compliant products but does not transfer the responsibility for ensuring compliance of the specific products being manufactured in the assessed factory to the government or the regulator,” Ms Ngari said.
She was saying this while appearing before the Public Accounts Committee PAC where she had been asked to clarify why most shelves in the country have substandard products.
But on Friday August 11, KeBS released a counter statement saying that, for products to be placed on the shelves, they need to have a diamond mark of quality. This, it said, is a superior mark issued only after the product undergoes all the required testings.
The fresh statement indicated that products have to go through a five-step process to make sure there is 100 percent compliance with the market standards.
It stated that, first the agency has to vet manufacturers to verify that they are a registered legal entity before going ahead to inspect the manufacturing premises to assess the capability of the manufacturing process to guarantee that the products will be safe if used.
“Further, the manufacturer is required to test or make arrangements for testing their products on a regular basis. Records of these quality measures must be maintained and produced to KeBS for verification during surveillance inspections,” KeBS statement read in part.
It then samples and tests the product before issuing a certification mark. The manufacturer must sign a certification contract with KeBS, which is a systematic guide to guarantee that the manufacturer shall implement the quality assurance activities as agreed throughout the validity period.
Then it continuously monitors the products after they are released to the public during the certification’s validity period.
Moreover, the agency conducts surveillance inspections, with sampling done at the factory or market.
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