Government reverses directive on imports inspection

Imported cars at a car sale yard in Ngong. Such imports needed to be inspected at their country of origin. [Philip Orwa, Standard]
The Government has reversed the requirements that all imported goods be inspected in their country of origin as a way of protecting the interests of local importers.

Trade and Industrialisation Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya said this will ease delays faced by importers as they awaited clearance from the countries of origin.

He added that it will also reduce high costs they faced navigating through the tests for standards in foreign countries.

Munya yesterday told the National Assembly Committee on Trade and Cooperatives that they had reversed the directive that was issued in 2015 that all imported cargo must be checked at the country of origin.

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In December 2015, the Government ordered that imported cargo must be inspected at the country of origin and issued with a certificate of inspection for them to be allowed in the local market.

This was done in an effort to curb the entry of illicit and sub-standard products into the local market.

But the move had been opposed by traders who complained of high fees that they were paying to the private inspection agencies that were being contracted by the Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) to check the standards compliance.

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Munya told a committee chaired by Kieni MP Kanini Kega that the traders had made a good case of how they were being exploited by the agencies hired by KEBS, necessitating the government to change the rules and only have the goods inspected at entry.

“It has been a huge problem for small scale traders for their goods to be cleared by foreign standards bodies. We have now reviewed the decision so that it is not compulsory to test the goods at the country of origin,” Mr Munya said yesterday.

SEE ALSO :Reprieve for importers as goods to be inspected at point of entry

The state had contracted private agencies to check goods for compliance at the country of origin including Cotecna Inspection SA, Bureau Veritas, Intertek International Ltd. 

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