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Duplication of standards, laws killing businesses–UN

United Nations Industrial Development Organization has called for harmonization of standards to support businesses.

In Summary

•United Nations says businesses are suffering from regulations and standards that are similar across state agencies, where costs such as licensing and inspection fees are payable.

•The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) has also put on alert companies and institutions breaching standards after attaining ISO certification.

Cedar Mall in Nanyuki
Cedar Mall in Nanyuki

Duplicate standards and regulations across different state agencies are stifling businesses and investments in the country, United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) has warned.

The UN specialized agency that promotes industrial development yesterday called for harmonization of standards and regulations, both in the private sector and government, to ensure the cost of doing business remains low.

According to UNIDO, the private sector has for long suffered from regulations and standards that are similar across the ’numerous’ state agencies, where costs such as licensing and inspection fees are payable.

This has continued to ‘punish’ business and the private sector at large, the agency notes.

“Government needs to have regulations and standards that address the real problem not just over regulating, it needs to address only the problem, we don’t want laws to become roadblocks we want laws that are facilitative,” said Andrew Edewa, UNIDO standards expert.

He spoke during the World Standards Day(2019) celebrations in Nairobi, an event snubbed by the Industry, Trade and Cooperatives CS Peter Munya and the Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) managing director Bernard Njiraini.

According to the UN, there are laws in the health department, trade, industry among other state organs that are duplicated, adding pressure to the private sector.

These add to business to business standards which all put together, they are stifling businesses.

“The government is speaking tough on their end , private sector has its own business to business standards, the marrying of these two seems to be a problem and it is affecting businesses,” Edewa noted.

Meanwhile, the International Organization for Standardization(ISO), the international standard-setting body , has put on alert companies and institutions breaching standards after obtaining ISO certification.

Some state corporations have failed to adhere to the required ISO standards once they are certified.

“We don't want standards for ticking the box.Standards must be part of the company’s culture,” ISO President Eddy Njoroge said.