SGS is entrusted by the Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) with providing pre-export verification of conformity (PVoC) services. We look at recent changes to the operational procedures for Kenya’s PVoC program.

We have been accredited by KEBS to provide PVoC services for the last 15 years. Products being shipped into Kenya must be assessed prior to embarkation to ensure compliance with applicable standards and relevant technical regulations. The program follows standard operating procedures developed by KEBS. These aid exporters, importers and agents in adhering to and complying with applicable interventions and, upon completion, will lead to a Certificate of Conformity (CoC) being issued for the shipment.

Recent Changes

Recent changes in the PVoC Program Operational Procedures are as follows:

  1. Acceptable Laboratory Test Reports
    Test reports from a recognized laboratory, i.e., a government owned or recognized third-party laboratory such as SGS, that is accredited to ISO/IEC 17025, may assess product conformity to applicable standards. KEBS prohibits the use of internal test reports supported by a valid quality management system (QMS) certificate.
  2. Removal of Routes A1 and Route D
    These routes were often preferred by exporters with shipments of a value no greater than USD 5,000 and consolidators. Following the changes, shipments falling under either of these certification routes must now use Route A, B or C, depending on the nature of the product, the exporter, and the QMS certification status of the exporting entity.
  3. Products not eligible for Routes B and C
    Due to recurring non-compliance and numerous marketplace complaints, KEBS has added fertilizers, liquid petroleum gas (LPG), motorcycle helmets and roofing sheets to the list of products not eligible for Routes B and C. The full list includes:
    • Animal and fishery products (fresh and frozen – not further processed)
    • Bulk petroleum products and base oils
    • Bulk shipments of cereals and pulses, such as rice, wheat, beans, maize, etc.
    • Edible cooking oils
    • Fertilizers – all types
    • Fresh dairy products
    • Fresh horticultural produce
    • Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG)
    • Motorcycle helmets
    • Sugar
    • Roofing sheets
    • Electrical cables
    • Used secondhand goods
  4. Enhanced monitoring of product quality under Routes B and C
    • Monitoring of registered goods – Route B
      • 30% – up from 10% – of the registered products shall be subjected to inspection – one year validity period following registration. The exporter is also required to submit a manufacturer’s test report, which must be traceable to the inspected shipment batch
  5. Monitoring of licensed products – Route C
    To ensure compliance consistency in licensed products:
    • The process and QMS of a manufacturer will be audited and reviewed at least once a year
    • At least one surveillance inspection must be made per year, or 10% inspection of the shipments certified during the validity period of the license
    • At the time of inspection, the manufacturer must submit at least one internal test report traceable to the batches in the inspected shipment
    • Surveillance inspections will be performed according to the requirements of ISO 17067 – scheme 5

Are pre-registration and pre-licensing still acceptable?

For an exporter to qualify for registration, there has to be proof of the frequency of shipments and product conformity with the applicable standards and technical regulations. This is attained through subjecting the exporter’s two shipments to Route A. It must be supported with valid QMS certificates, two CoCs issued under Route A, and the test reports used in certification of the second shipment under Route A. This qualifies the exporter for product registration and thus renders pre-registration redundant.

Licensing Open to Manufacturers Only

A manufacturer whose production processes, quality management systems and product test reports are audited, verified and found to be compliant to the requirements and applicable standards, will be issued with a Statement of License that is valid for three years.

With a global network of inspectors and state-of-the-art testing facilities, SGS remains your first choice for PVoC solutions for Kenyan markets. Wherever you operate in the world, we will keep you informed about changes to procedures and regulations, helping you to remain compliant and streamlining your access to market.

Learn more about Kenya – Pre-Export Verification of Conformity (PVoC) Program.

This article can also be found in our PCA Newsletter – keeping you up to date with developments in technical barriers to trade and product conformity assessment.

Subscribe to the PCA Newsletter by going to our Subscription Center and selecting the topic Government & Trade Facilitation at Step 2.

For more information, please contact:

Hellen Achieng
Contract Manager
Trade Facilitation Services, SGS
t: +254 709 633000

About SGS

We are SGS – the world’s leading testing, inspection and certification company. We are recognized as the global benchmark for quality and integrity. Our 96,000 employees operate a network of 2,600 offices and laboratories, working together to enable a better, safer and more interconnected world.