Monday, July 15, 2024

Licenses of second-generation alcohol suspended with immediate effect

Interior CS Kithure Kindiki has suspended all licenses and permits of second-generation alcohol issued by KRA and KEBS with immediate effect.

“The trade, consumption, and abuse of illicit alcohol, narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances ranks as one of the five key National Security threats; terrorism, banditry and livestock rustling, cultural, religious and political extremism, and climate change.

The Government has adopted a National Security posture in its management of this scourge. All licenses and certification permits for second-generation alcohol and alcoholic beverage distillers and manufacturers, issued by the Kenya Revenue Authority(KRA) and Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) stand suspended with immediate effect.

All existing valid licenses will be vetted afresh within twenty-one (21) days of this directive, with premises approved to resume operations only upon receipt of fresh approval. Fresh applications shall require manufacturers to have Quality Control laboratories installed with Gas Chromatography with Flame Ionization Detectors and operated by competent laboratory analysts to test all incoming raw materials and finished products before their release to the market.

The laboratories should be registered with providers of Inter-Laboratory comparison and submit their Quality Control results to the Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) on monthly basis.” said CS Kindiki

All alcohol manufacturers have been directed by the government to issue a list of their distributors and KEBS issued with a 45 day window to ensure that ethanol is marked to prevent diversion to the market.

“All alcohol manufacturers shall henceforth be required to establish and document all traders in their distribution chain and have procedures for ensuring full traceability from factories to the consumers of alcoholic products manufactured for sale.

Within 45 days, KEBS shall ensure that all industrial ethanol is denatured or marked with a denaturing agent (denatonium benzoate) to prevent diversion and/or the accidental use of industrial ethanol in alcohol manufacture.

Any licences currently issued to bars, outlets and premises by County Governments that are contrary to the provisions of the Alcoholic Drinks Control Act, particularly relating to licensing of premises within residential areas and around basic educational institutions are null and void.

County Security Teams are directed to shut down and seize such premises immediately. Similarly, no alcohol selling outlets shall be allowed to operate beyond the stipulated operation hours in accordance with Section 34 of the Alcoholic Drinks Control Act.

In line with the Public Ethics Act, all public officers in the enforcement and compliance chain shall not own or operate bars directly or through proxies. Landlords and owners of premises renting out space for establishment of bars and wines and spirits outlets in prohibited areas pursuant to Section 20(c) of the Penal Code shall be deemed aiders and abetters of crime.

All vehicles and buildings used in storage, manufacturing,and trafficking of illicit alcohol, narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances shall be seized and deemed to be Government property, pursuant to Section 74 of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Control Act.” said the CS

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