Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) has said it has not banned the importation of used motor vehicle spare parts.
Acting managing director Bernard Nguyo said the dealers are misinformed as the ban is on specific used spare parts.
“KEBS has not banned importation of used motor vehicle spare parts into the country,” said Nguyo .
Mr Nguyo made the clarification at Pride Inn Flamingo resort in Mombasa on Friday after a meeting with the National Assembly Trade, Industry and Cooperatives committee.
This follows recent protests by used spare part dealers over what they say is a move to destroy a whole generation that depends on the used motor-vehicle spare parts business for their livelihood.
Nguyo explained that KEBS was guided by a national standard that was gazetted in 2013.
The standard provides for a code of inspection and criteria for accepting the quality of used spare parts that can be permitted into the country.
“The premise here is about safety of the users and consumers of those spare parts,” he said.
He said the standard has provided for certain items that cannot be permitted into the country because their use endangers motorists.
“For example, that standard provides that you cannot import used tyres. If you are putting on a vehicle a tyre that has already been rejected elsewhere, you are endangering the lives of those who will use that tyre,’ said Nguyo.
He spoke two days after Trade CS Peter Munya also clarified that the ban on importation of some used motor-vehicle spare parts was not a blanket one.
He said only 17 categories of second-hand motor vehicle spare parts have been banned from being imported into the country.
He maintained that the government will not relent on its directive.
On Friday, Nguyo and National Assembly Trade, Industry and Cooperatives committee chair Kanini Kega said the government has the best interests of its people at heart when I comes up with policies
that protect Kenyans from harm.
Nguyo said there is nothing new in the directive, which he said has been in place since 2014 only that it has not been enforced as strictly as it should have.
“We have been implementing it. But of course as we continue enhancing our inspection regimes, we get to detect some abuses,” said Nguyo.
It is these abuses that the standards agency cautions importers and the public about the rules that need to be adhered to.
“Aside from the items listed as prohibited, importation of used motor-vehicle spare parts is legal. We are inspecting and those that conform to the standards are being permitted as we have always done,”
The items banned include oil filters, air cleaners, brake pads, clash plates, tubes, tyres, ball-joints, tie rod-ends, rack ends, brake hose pipes, brake pipes, clutch cables, bearings, among others.
Nguyo and Kega said Kenya will not allow to be used as a dumping site for items that have outlived their usefulness abroad.
They said Kenya is not a dumping site for environmentally hazardous waste.
“The first business of government is to protect life and property of citizens,” said Kega.