Staff Email | Toll Free : 1545

Kenya Standards Catalogue
Propose Standardization Requests

The Standards and Market Access Programme (SMAP)

The Standards and Market Access Programme (SMAP) is one of the programmes financed from 10th European Development Fund (EDF-10) resources under the Private Sector Development component of the Country Strategy Paper and National Indicative Programme (CSP/NIP 2008-2013).

The Financing Agreement was signed on 6th August 2013. The implementation period is 4 years ending 5thAugust2017 followed by a two year closure period ending 5thAugust2019. The contracting deadline (d+3) is therefore 5th August 2016. The total EDF contribution is €12.1 million. The Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) will implement its components through Programme Estimates (PEs), following EU procurement and programme implementation rules.

The SMAP aims to strengthen the legal framework, including food standards and codes of practice, and institutional infrastructures for testing and certification of plant and animal-based products of Kenya. In Result 1, Standards and codes of practice covering 8 sectors will be developed through Technical Committees, approved and gazetted. The inspection officers and regulatory agencies in the border points will be senzitized on the new requirements.

In Result 2, KEBS will upgrade its laboratories, and update and implement a risk- based Residue and Contaminant Monitoring Plan. There will also be activities related to capacity building for inspectors, quality assurance officers, auditors, and certification officers as well as speciliazed training for laboratory analysts. TOT programmes will also be carried out for food safety management systems and Global Gap.

KEBS will also contribute to Result 3, which will be implemented by UNIDO under a direct contribution agreement with the European Union, by providing inputs and technical advice in its area of competence for training programmes for the Private Sector.

KEBS has set up a Project Implemetation unit, composed of a Project Coordinator and appointed officers from the Departments of Standards Development, Quality Assurance and Inspection, Testing Laboratories & Metrology, Certification, National Quality Institute, ICT and Marketing.

1.2 Context

The Government of Kenya is in the process of approving a Food Safety Policy from where the Food Safety Act will be derived. This Act will be in line with to Kenya's international obligations, particularly those embedded in the World Trade Organization's Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures.

A National Food Safety Authority (NFSA) shall be appointed, with the scope to direct and coordinate all Government activities in the field of food safety, in close collaboration with all relevant governmental and non-governmental sectors; among its tasks is to strengthen institutional capacities and harmonize institutional frameworks, to enhance linkages between research and industry, to coordinate all the existing food control infrastructure and services and redefine their roles in order to eliminate areas of overlap and conflict.

A priority concern has been raised by the three National Food Control bodies - KEBS, the Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Services, KEPHIS and the Department of Veterinary Services, DVS regarding the possible consequence of the ongoing devolution of powers from central government to county authorities. The need to guide and oversee the control and certification system, as well as to maintain the current chain of command in inspection services' delivery, in order to keep in place an early warning system based on risk analysis, cannot be overstressed.

The activities planned under SMAP aim at improving the legal framework in food safety and building capacity for tests and controls in the food sector. They are therefore perfectly aligned with the existing context.

The SMAP programme will address the following issues among others:

  • Development and Review of current food standards and codes of practice,
  • Establishment/updating a traceability system along the food chains,
  • Capacity Building including strengthening laboratory infrastructure, upgrade of existing laboratories, facilitation of accreditation of laboratories, training of laboratory personnel, reinforcement of the institutions’ capacity to undertake formal risk analysis and increase national knowledge for effective participation in international standards development fora;

1.2.1 Institutional context

The Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) is one of the beneficiaries and implementers of SMAP and will host and coordinate the program. It is a parastatal agency under the Ministry of Industrialization, established in July 1974. Its mission is to provide internationally recognized standards, measurements and conformity assessment solutions that meet customer needs.

KEBS is charged with development of standards for all products including food and agricultural products through technical committees. These standards are approved by the National Standards Council before being published in the Kenya Gazette. KEBS also has a key role in the testing of food products against specific standards. KEBS is the WTO TBT National Enquiry Point, and also the Secretariat to the National Consultative Committee on Technical Barriers to Trade.KEBS is the National Codex Contact Point, and serves as the secretariat of the National Codex Committee, acting as a link between Codex Secretariat and Kenya. It is the reference institution for the Quality Infrastructure in the East Africa Community.

KEBS is member the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and plays a mentoring role in the EAC, being the most developed in its sector (KEBS certificates are used as well in the other EAC markets).

KEBS Services and mandate include:

    • Standards development and trade facilitation;
    • Metrology and testing;
    • Quality Assurance, Inspection and Product Certification
    • System Certification by KEBS Certification Body (KEBS CB) The scopes of certification include ISO 22000, ISO 9001, 14001 Standards, HACCP and OHSAS;
    • Import inspection;
    • Pre-export verification of conformity (PVOC) to standards;
    • Training and Education in Standards, Metrology, and Conformity Assessment & Management Systems by National Quality Institute (NQI).
    • Maintenance and dissemination of the International System of Units (SI) of measurement;
    • Participation in the ISO programmes and activities;
    • Participation in the African Organization for Standardization (ARSO) programmes and activities.

1.2.2 Targeted Stakeholders (and beneficiaries)

The main stakeholders of the planned activities are the KEBS implementing officers at HQ and regional offices, including Project coordinators and delegated officers from the various departments. Other stakeholders are: private sector, industry, producers and international traders, associations in food sector, processed food distributors and dealers, universities and research bodies, private certification bodies, Kenya Accreditation Service (KENAS), other GoK Departments e.g. Public Health, Trade, Agriculture. Final beneficiaries are the producers, the traders and the general public.

1.2.3 Problems addressed by the proposed intervention

Many of the food safety challenges the country is facing can be attributed to insufficient ability of the control management system to detect potential risks and gaps, to share information and coordinate and identify appropriate strategies for collaborative management of food safety in the supply chain. Some of the challenges include:

  • Standards are not adequately intregrated into regulations/government policies covering plant and animal based products.
  • Funding for technical officers to participate in Codex meetings to enable them understand the role of risk assessment in setting of maximum limits are insufficient.
  • The public is not sensitised on existing or new national food safety standards and controls in the country.
  • Standards for food products and feeds are inadequate
  • The scope of testing is narrow
  • The is no Risk Management approach in food safety issues
  • ICT infrastructure for linkage to Single Window platform is not adequate.

The aspects for which KEBS requests assistance through SMAP are the following:

  • Standards: to carry out a study on the standard situation for food and feed ; revise, review and adopt international/regional standards covering food safety; support standardisation of food products at national, regional and international level; enhance KEBS' capacity in the enforcement of food safety standards and in promoting the compliance of the industry to food safety regulations.
  • Laboratories: to expand the scope of accreditation; increase the equipment, including equipment for metrology and testing labs; upgrade the labs in the Coastal region (Mombasa) and the Lake Region (Kisumu) and North Rift (Eldoret - now microbiology only); provide financial support for proficiency tests; expand the scope of testing to cover analysis of: mycotoxins (cereals, nuts), microbiology contamination, food additives - residues & contaminants.
  • Capacity building in labs: to train on the use of new equipment and specialized analytical techniques, sampling, lab management; proficiency testing schemes, and tutorship with external labs.
  • Capacity building in controls and certification: to increase scope of certification services, level of expertise and infrastructure;training of auditors and experts, TOT for trainers, certification process for SMEs for meat and dairy products, cereals and pulses, tea and coffee, fish, fish products and poultry products.

 1.2.4 Associated sectors and projects

KEBS has benefitted from the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) projectfunded by the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD) “Trade Capacity Building in agro-industry products forthe establishment and proof of compliance with international market requirements in EAC”. This ended in December 2011 and included evaluation studies and provision of equipment for the central laboratory at HQ.

KEBS has also benefited from the Trade Mark East Africa (TMEA) Project titled: Technical Expert to update standardisation regulatory framework in Kenya and build capacity for Standards Quality Management, Metrology and Testing (SQMT). The project has contributed to updating of the standardisation regulatory framework in Kenya and building capacity for SQMT activities to ensure facilitation of trade for Kenyan products in the regional market. It included purchase of equipment and also specialized training for KEBS staff.

1.2.5 Reference documentation

  • Financing Agreement
  • The Project Implementation Plan (PIP)
  • National food standards catalogue
  • Agricultural Sector Development Strategy
  • National Agricultural Sector Extension Policy
  • KEBS Strategic Plan 2012-2017.

DAC Code 33120, Sector Trade Facilitation

Prepared between 2012 and 2013

Other Related News
Archived News



  • Landline : (+ 254 20)6948000
  • Mobile :
    + 254722202137
  • + 254734600471
  • PVoC : + 254724255242
  • Email :
  • Fax : (+254 20) 6948575