Kenyan Market Is A Dumping Ground For Fake Everything.....


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The Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) and the National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA) have moved to curb killer plastic products flooding markets and homes.

Goods flagged include cosmetics such as lip gloss, aftershave, plastic plates, clothes, toys, and containers that contain chemicals.

KEBS stated that plastics have proven to cause cancer, diabetes, increase male infertility, birth defects, and other malignant diseases as they contain endocrine (pertaining to hormones and the glands) disrupting chemicals.

In conjunction with NEMA, KEBS is set to gazette the Toxic and Hazardous Chemicals and Materials Management Regulations 2019 which will regulate consumers' interaction with chemicals.

A number of plastic jerricans of varying sizes....and Plastic plates and cups on display

"We have introduced new standards that assure Made in Kenya products meet globally accepted chemical safety standards," KEBS Managing Director Bernard Njiraini stated.

The notice will see NEMA ban, regulate, issue registration licenses, and also categorize plastic products.

"The regulations will provide for the sustainable management of chemicals in Kenya, specifically, labeling, classification, registration, manufacture, storage, transport (road, air, and sea), distribution, handling, import, export, chemical use in mining, substances in articles/chemicals in products, polluter release and transfer register, restrictions and banning, incidents, liabilities, waste disposal and offenses of toxic and hazardous chemicals and materials," the draft says.

Firms may also be directed to display highly visible graphic warnings on products containing harmful chemicals after it was ascertained that consumers ingest plastic on a daily basis in one way or another.


It was also proven that plastics pollute the soil, air, and water during recycling, manufacture, and disposal and this affects food production through planting and irrigation. Humans end up consuming these foods.

The draft adds that once implemented, there will be a transitional period of six months for all in the supply chain including producers, manufacturers, importers, and handlers to comply with the regulations.

It also contains a schedule of prescribed fees that include: Registration application – Kshs 5,000, application for a license to manufacture/distribute/transport/store – Kshs 5,000, import/export/transit permit – Kshs 50,000 and annual laboratory operating license – Kshs 30,000.

In 2017, Kenya passed a stringent law against plastic bags. Two years later, she was one of the nations around the world that signed on to a global agreement to stop importing plastic waste.
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The government has raised concerns over the rising number of fake products being sold in Kenya.

Officers from the anti-counterfeit agency inspecting counterfeit products in 2019

The Anti Counterfeit Agency chairperson Flora Mutai said that 70 percent of imported goods sold in Kenyan markets are fake.

Speaking in Kitale on Wednesday, February 24, Mutai said despite the agricultural sector being the highest contributor to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), a bigger percent of the products in the industry are counterfeit.

Lawrence Karanja the Trade and Industrialization Chief Administrative Secretary

Mutai cited Agriculture and Manufacturing traders as unethical and exploitative who bait consumers to buy products that have not met the required standards, adding that counterfeit products in the country have slowed down economic growth.

"Fake goods and products have greatly affected the realization of the Big Four Agenda by President Uhuru Kenyatta," she said.

The government has now launched a multi-agency campaign against counterfeit products across the country.

Fake brands of sanitizers nabbed by KEBS in Nakuru on Thursday, March 19, 2020

Lawrence Karanja the Trade and Industrialization Chief Administrative Secretary who was also present at the launch of a multi-agency campaign against counterfeit products warned farmers to be on the lookout for dishonest traders and companies whose products affect productivity.

Karanja identified North Rift as one of the most affected regions in the country.

Sam Ojwang, the Trans Nzoia County County Commissioner said that the Government has set up boundary committees that will identify and report traders with counterfeit products entering the country through Uganda.

Following this revelation, the Government is issuing a warning to all traders selling counterfeit goods that they will be arrested and prosecuted as the law provides.

The Kenya Bureau of Standard (KEBS) on Tuesday, 22 seized substandard maize flour in an effort to eradicate fake products not fit for consumption.

KEBS and Anti Counterfeit Agency will be working together in the new operations to eradicate fake and counterfeit products in Kenya.


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Kenya Bureau of Standards(KEBS) has flagged twenty-six brands of tissue paper due to noncompliance of quality standards.

In a letter dated February 24, KEBS wrote to the Chief Executive of the Retail Trade Association of Kenya (RETRAK) asking the association to tell its members to withdraw the flagged tissue brands from supermarket shelves.


“We request your office to notify your members to remove these brands from outlets across the country until further notice,” Peter Kaigwara, Director of Market Surveillance wrote.

Managing Director Bernard Njiraini

The director added that that the brands did not comply with the requirements of the Standard Act.

“Following market surveillance activities on toilet paper brands in circulation across the country, KEBS detected noncompliance with the requirements of the Standards Act,” Peter Kaigwara wrote.

In 2011, KEBS also targeted tissue brands for noncompliance with the quality standards set by the board.

Sample of Kraft papers used for wrapping

The sector offers jobs to more than fifty thousand people and makes around Ksh2.4 billion annually.

KEBS on February 26, also approved new guidelines that would guide the production of Kraft paper.

The guidelines provided specifications for the limit of heavy metals and organic contaminants, microbiological requirements, Ph levels, cobb and dimensions.

The guidelines specify sampling and testing methods of Kraft paper used in packaging of oily and greasy foods, dry food such as sugar, bread bags, grocery bags, laminates and wrapping bags.

“Kraft paper is recommended for eco-friendly packaging as they are made from biodegradable recyclable materials to help reduce waste and conserve the environment, “Bernard Njirani, managing director KEBS said.