Kenya. The Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM) has raised an objection to the system of imposing charges on large companies’ products bearing the Standardisation Quality Mark.
KAM chief executive officer Betty Maina said the Government had not consulted before arriving at the decision on how to charge these companies.
According to the requirements enumerated by the Minister of Industrialisation, Henry Kosgey, companies with a turnover of more than Sh500,000 are expected to pay the charges as per product as opposed to process.
This, Ms Maina said would increase the price of goods on the shelves at a time when inflation levels had risen considerably.
However, the umbrella body for manufacturers welcomed the decision by the minister to postpone the deadline for compliance with the Standardisation Quality Mark to March 2009.
On September 1st, the minister announced that companies with ten products and above would pay Sh20,000 per year and an additional Sh5,000 per product while those with less than ten products would pay an additional Sh7,500 per product.
KAM has said the decision, if implemented, will raise the cost of doing business in the country, which will result in higher prices for the goods.
"Our proposal is to charge these companies Sh5,000 and Sh7,500 per process respectively for those manufacturing over ten products and less than ten products, in order to protect local industries and consumers from further hurt," Ms Maina said.
She said the extension of the deadline offers a window for further engagement even as companies continue to clear stocks of goods supplied to retailers that did not bear the quality mark label.
Ms Maina also lauded the decision to exempt companies whose products have the Diamond Mark from the requirement to apply for standardisation mark. She said the East African Community should be educated to recognise Kenya’s quality mark once implemented.
This will greatly facilitate trade within the region and ensure that the products that are being traded across the border meet the required standards.
KAM, she added supported the decision to provide the imported standardisation mark (ISM) on imported products free of charge. The ISM assures compliance with health and safety requirements.
Source: Daily Nation (Nairobi)
By: Mwaniki Wahome
Posted: 17 September 2008