KEBS Issues Guidelines on Age Limit for Importation of Used Cars Beginning January 2024

Imported cars at a yard at the Mombasa Port on November 14, 2023.
Imported cars at a yard at the Mombasa Port on November 14, 2023.

The Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) has issued new guidelines for the importation of used or second-hand vehicles into the country beginning next January.

In a notice dated December 4, the agency indicated that from January 1, 2024, only second-hand vehicles which were registered from January 1, 2017, will be allowed into the country.

KEBS explained that the guidelines were in line with the eight-year age limit that was imposed on the importation of used vehicles.

It maintained that the guidelines would cater for all right-hand drive vehicles.

Cars on Container
A photo collage of cars being loaded on shipping containers.

"We wish to notify all importers of used/second-hand motor vehicles, including returning residents, diplomatic staff and the general public, that in observance of clause 2.5 of KS 1515:2000 on the eight (8) year age limit requirement, only Right Hand Drive (RHD) motor vehicles whose Year of First Registration is from January 1, 2017 and later shall be allowed into the country effective 1st January 2024.

"Vehicles exported to Kenya shall be expected to comply with KS 1515:2000- Kenya Code of Practice for Inspection of Road Vehicles while vehicles from countries where KEBS has an inspection agency (i.e. Japan, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, Thailand, Singapore, and South Africa) shall be accompanied with a Certificate of Roadworthiness (COR) issued by Quality Inspection Services Inc. Japan (QISJ) which is an inspection company contracted by KEBS," read the notice in part.

Therefore, Kenyans who had planned to import vehicles that were registered before 2017 were advised to ensure that the automobiles dock at the country's points of entry by December 31, 2023.

Accompanying documents that date from 2016 going backwards must also arrive in the country before the end of 2023.

"Any vehicle registered in 2016 or earlier, arriving after December 31, 2023, will be deemed not compliant with KS 1515:2000 and shall be rejected at the importer's expense," read the notice in part.

The eight-year age limit on used vehicles was introduced to safeguard against the dumping of second-hand vehicles into the country.

Additionally, the rule also ensures that only good and roadworthy vehicles are brought into the country.

Notably, Transport CS Kipchumba Murkomen mooted a plan to review and lower the age limit of cars, a  move aimed at ensuring Kenyans purchase new vehicles from the market.

File image of Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) offices in Kisumu.
File image of Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) offices in Kisumu.