Recently Kenya Bureau of Standards had started implementing a government circular on Pre-Export Verification of Conformity (PVoC). The circular directs imports including potatoes to have a PVoC certificate from country of origin. It also directs reduction of government agents at points of entry and KEBS to be the lead clearing agent at ports of entry. This is aimed at increasing efficiency, effectiveness and reduces costs arising from delays in clearances.
It is in this line that Seed Traders Association of Kenya (STAK), Ministry of Agriculture, Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service (KEPHIS), KEBS, NPCK and other seed companies held a meeting at Kilimo House in order to deliberate on the impacts of the directive on seed trade. Concerns were raised that the directive of seeds to bear PVoC increases costs, is more time consuming and is a bureaucratic process as seed is considered a raw material and therefore should be exempted from the requirement.
The members agreed to form a joint committee that will develop a memorandum detailing impacts, issues to be addressed and actionable areas that will be escalated to higher authorities for action.