A move by the Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) to enforce a 10-year-old levy under the Standards Levy (Amendment) Order 1999 has raised concerns among small business owners.

The move requires each manufacturer to pay KEBS a monthly levy recoverable at source at 0.2 per cent rate of the ex-factory price of items manufactured in one month except without the discounts and VAT.

The regulation stipulates that each product manufactured in any month is subject to Standards Levi of a maximum of Sh400,000 per year and a minimum of Sh1,000 per month, which are payable to the taxman before the 20th day of the following month.

According to a KEBS notice, manufacturers or potential manufacturers need to notify KEBS managing director of their operations.

“A manufacturer is defined to include a person or persons who produce, process, treat, install, test or operate and use. Persons who manufacture or intend to manufacture are required to notify the Managing Director Kebs,” the KEBS notice read partly.

Business entities the new KEBS move will affect include those in the printing, screen printing, publishing, tailoring, photocopying and photography studios businesses.

However, most such small business owners are oblivious to the KEBS levy and warn against implementing the same citing harsh economic times.