KEBS Issues Directive on Used Cars Importation

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    Traffic snarl-up at Uhuru Highway in Nairobi in March 2020.
  • The Kenya Bureau of Standard (KEBS) has moved in to further enforce the regulations governing the import of used cars, cautioning against purchasing automobiles older than the allowed eight-years since manufacturing. 

    In a notice released on Tuesday, November 9, the government agency stated that only right-hand drive (RHD) motor vehicles whose year of first registration is from January 1, 2015, and later, shall be allowed into the country effective January 1, 2022.

    KEBS underlined that this decision was made pursuant to the Kenya Standard Code of Practice for Inspection of road vehicles, and Legal Notice No. 78 of April 28, 2020. 

    Matatus at traffic snarl-up along Waiyaki Way in Nairobi

    “In line with the verification of conformity to Kenya Standards of Imports Order, we wish to notify all importers of used or secondhand motor vehicles including returning residents, diplomatic staff and the general public that in observance of the eight (8) year age limit requirement, vehicles exported to Kenya shall be expected to comply with the Kenya Code of Practice for Inspection of Road Vehicles.

    “Vehicles from countries where KEBS has an inspection agency shall be accompanied with a Certificate of Roadworthiness (CoR) issued by Quality Inspection Services Inc. Japan (QISJ), an inspection company appointed by KEBS,” the agency noted. 

    KEBS has inspection agencies in Japan, United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, Thailand and South Africa. 

    It further added that the Certificates of roadworthiness for vehicles whose year of first registration is 2014 will not be valid after December 31. 

    All vehicles issued with such certificates must arrive at the port of destination or entry by December 31, 2021. 

    “Any vehicle registered in 2014 or earlier, arriving after December 31, will be deemed not compliant with KEBS rules and shall be rejected at the importer's expense,” it directed. 

    On Monday, January 25, Treasury Cabinet Secretary, Ukur Yatani, hinted at extending the timeline for used car imports from two years to five years as the government gears towards promoting locally assembled vehicles. 

    Yatani stated that the government will phase out secondhand cars by 2026. The car dealers had up to 2023 to import secondhand vehicles in an earlier plan unveiled in 2019. 

    Trade CS, Betty Maina, added that the government set aside Ksh600 million to purchase locally assembled or manufactured cars to boost and revive the economy.  

    President Uhuru Kenyatta is inclined towards reviving the local vehicle assembly industry. The Head of State, in December 2020, commissioned the local assembly of Proton Saga saloon cars at the Associated Vehicle Assemblers (AVA) in Miritini, Mombasa County.

    President Uhuru Kenyatta commissions local assembly of Proton Saga saloon cars on Thursday, December 10
    President Uhuru Kenyatta commissions local assembly of Proton Saga saloon cars on Thursday, December 10