Importers and exporters of all alcoholic drinks in Kenya will now have to get a licence from the National Authority for the Campaign Against Alcohol and Drug Abuse- NACADA.
This is duet to resolution by a multi-agency team from the Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Government, The Kenya Revenue Authority, Kenya Bureau of Standards-KEBS, Council of Governors (CoG) and other agencies that regulate international trade.
NACADA boss Victor Okioma said the regulator was concerned that some county governments have been issuing importation and exportation licences to manufacturers against the constitutional provisions on international trade as it relates to businesses dealing on alcoholic drinks.
“This licence by NACADA will streamline the industry by providing details of the alcoholic drink manufacturer, brand origin, batch number among other considerations to facilitate tracking of products through the value chain. What we as the regulator are mostly concerned about is the health and safety of the consumer from unscrupulous businesses,” he said.
The move comes after the Authority took over the functions of licensing manufacturers and importers of alcoholic drinks after the Inter-Governmental Relations Technical Committee (IGRTC), which took over from the defunct Transition Authority (TA).
NACADA has already notified industry players that it has taken over the functions from IGRTC.
Okioma recently told the Association of Beer and Alcoholic Drinks Manufacturers of Kenya (ABAK), thar the need to protect consumers from counterfeit and illicit alcoholic drinks has to be met as he blamed the problem on licencing issues by devolved units.
“The need for industry players to adhere to provisions of the Alcoholic Drinks Control Act, 2010 has never been more prominent as during the current Covid-19 pandemic. Among the containment measures was closure of bars which resulted in alcoholic drinks consumers stocking alcohol at home. In his latest address to the nation, the President banned reopening of bars after escalation of coronavirus infections in the country,” Okioma said.
Eric Kiniti, the Secretary for ABAK, urged for regular discussions and consensus building to protect all parties and stakeholders.