ISM now required for goods shipped to Kenya

Kenya Panorama 1

The Kenyan Bureau of Standards (KEBS) has advised that all imported finished products are now required to be labelled with the ISM (Import Standardisation Mark) sticker, effective 1st September 2015. This is part of the Pre-Verification of Conformity (PVoC) initiative and the ISM is additional to the Certificate of Conformity (CoC) which is a mandatory Certificate for imports on many items.

The objective of this new regulation is to assure Kenyan consumers that the products they are purchasing are safe and conform to Kenyan standard procedures.

Products already in the market can be sold without the ISM until 30th June 2016, but after this date all imported products without the ISM will be in breach of this new regulation.

The list of items which fall under this regulation is extensive and includes food products, Alcohol, Tobacco, Fuels, Fertilisers, Chemicals, Paints, Inks, Perfumes, Makeup, Antiperspirants, Soaps, Plastic and Rubber products, leather and textile products, Iron, Steel and Aluminium products, Commercial and Domestic tools, Pumps, Compressors, Fans, Printers, Washing and Drying Machines, Transformers, Audio and Visual Equipment, Household products and Electrical goods, Vehicles and Watches.

It is important that anyone who believes their products might fall under this regime check immediately since any goods shipped to Kenya after 1st September 2015 will be held in Kenyan Customs at the Shipper’s expense (regardless of the terms of sale) until the goods can be re-imported into the Country of Export.

It is possible to obtain both CoC’s and the ISM from organisations such as Intertek and SGS. A full list of all products that fall under this regulation can be obtained from their websites as well.

Maria Narancic from Point to Point Export Services is an independent international trade adviser who assists organisations world wide with their international trade projects, documentation, Documentary Credits and import/export training. She is based in the United Kingdom. If you require any further assistance with the matters mentioned above, please do contact us by e-mail on or to access other articles on International Trade matters please do check out our website at

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