On the afternoon of 3rd July 2015, a meeting was held between KEBS and members of the Association of Spirits Manufacturers of Kenya (ASMA) and the National Alcoholic Beverages Association of Kenya (NABAK). The concerns of the associations was to know the actual products whose licenses have been suspended given that some of these manufacturers produce other certified products such as whisky, brandy, vodka, gin etc that do not fall under the Potable spirit standard.
They also wanted clarification on the way forward following the suspension of the licenses. The following was the outcome of the meeting:
- Members of the two associations appreciated the government efforts to clean the sector of illicit brews and committed to cooperate with the Government.
- KEBS is shared with the members of the Associations the list of products covered by the suspension. These are the Potable Spirits certified under East African Standard EAS 109 and KS 2326 for Traditional spirit.
- KEBS IS working with the Inter Government-Agency team set up to carry out the inspection of the premises and sampling for analysis of all manufactured potable spirit. The Team was launched this morning under the Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Government.
- During consultation with the Associations it was observed that there are many illicit brews not certified and from unlicensed sources. A lot of focus should therefore, be directed at these unlicensed establishments that manufacture illicit brews. The Associations expressed their readiness to work with the relevant Government departments to flash out illicit brews.
- KEBS has released a letter to all the certified firms suspending the permits in line with the Standards Act Cap 496 section 10A (1) and regulation 11 of the standardization Marks (Permits and Fees) to immediately stop production as they await inspection and clearance by the Inter Government-Agency Team.
- The timeline for review of suspensions will be determined by the Inter Government-Agency team. The associations emphasized on the need to accomplish inspection and testing as soon as possible.
Statement Issued by: Charles Ongwae,
Managing Director, Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS)
Click here to Download the list of suspended potable spirit brands.
Potable Spirits Certified Under EAS 109 and Traditional Spirits certified under KS 2326
Following the decision by the Government (County governments and the national government) to immediately suspend licenses for all Portal Spirit (popularly referred as second generation alcoholic drinks) until an Inter-agency team carries out a nationwide inspection of premises and analysis of alcoholic products to ensure that they meet Kenya Standards; KEBS has initiated the following;
- Written to all manufacturers to stop production of Potable Spirits until they are inspected and cleared by the Inter Government-Agency team.
- Mobilized resources to ensure seamless implementation and support the Inter Government-Agency team.
- KEBS has also made arrangements to ensure all sampled products are tested and results released as fast as possible.
- KEBS has availed to the interagency team the quality assurance procedures and criterion to guide the inspection process at manufacturing units.
- KEBS has also availed a list of the affected manufacturers of Potable Spirit to the Inter Government-Agency Team and the public.
KEBS has provided standards based solutions to curb the proliferation of substandard alcohol and these are some of the key milestones we have achieved so far;
- Revised the standard for methanol which was being misused by scrupulous alcoholic manufacturers. All methanol imported into the country has to be denatured at the country of origin. This makes it impossible to be used in the production of alcoholic beverage.
- KEBS has also included methanol in the PVOC list, which means before it is exported into the country, it has to be inspected at the country of origin. Methanol has also been includedin the list of dangerous chemicals.
Besides that, KEBS has also put up conditions for all manufacturers of alcoholic beverages to comply with standards to ensure the safety of alcoholic drinks. This includes;
- Demonstrate presence of a laboratory which can test both qualitative and quantitative compositions of especially methanol and ethanol. Records of tests done must be maintained to demonstrate compliance.
- Have a qualified person in Food Management (at least Diploma Level).
- Be in possession of the standards for the products they manufacture and the Code of practice – manufacture of, handling and distribution of alcoholic beverages KS 1499:2012
KEBS is committed to ensuring the health and safety of all Kenyans as well as facilitating fair trade practices that do not endanger the lives of consumers.