What July ban on used cars beyond five years means

Second hand cars in a yard. [Photo: Courtesy]

Kenya Bureau of Standards and the motor vehicle industry stakeholders are continuing with conversations around the age limit of imported used cars.

Trade, Industry and Cooperatives Cabinet Secretary, Peter Munya has engaged KeBS to come up with the regulations on the level of emission standards for imported vehicles as well as the age limit of all used cars imported by traders.

“Be advised that government has already committed itself to developing a National Automotive Policy Framework and at the same time, review the emission levels and age limit on imported used motor vehicles from the current eight years to five years effective July 2019,” CS Munya’s letter to KeBS on December 20, read.

The government is seeking to reduce the age limit of second hand vehicles from eight to five as it tackles issues of air pollution, health, and safety standards.

Lowering of the age limit of the imported vehicles will likely result to an increase in prices of vehicles by more than half, make distribution of second hand vehicles limited, affect second-hand car traders as well as reduce government revenue from the industry.

Contacted with the Standard Digital on the issue, a local car bazaar representative said that the motor show will maintain its car units locally and change its business model to suit with the current needs, saying that the latest announcement will lower the firms' car importation.

In June 2018, Industrialization Cabinet Secretary Adan Mohammed said that the government was set to block sale of vehicles aged above five years saying the move was aimed at boosting local car makers, calling for discussions with stakeholders.

Second car traders at the time criticized government’s proposals to impose new age limits on second hand vehicles imported into the country saying that lowering this period to five years will lead to a sharp drop in revenue and affect jobs.

Kenya, Algeria, Mozambique, Tunisia and Libya currently allow importation of used cars between age of six to eight while Countries such as Morrocco, Sudan and South Africa have a total ban of second-hand car imports.

The regulations by KeBS will be drafted by Tuesday, January 15 then after, the gazettement and enforcement later in June after budget reading.

According to Car Importers Association of Kenya (CIAK) chairman an average of over 24,123 used cars are imported into the country per month amounting to Sh13.5 billion in revenue for the government.

The ban will be effected on July.