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Car importers seek rule extension

By Joackim Bwana | December 7th 2020 at 11:00:00 GMT +0300

Importers of second-hand cars in Mombasa have petitioned the government to extend the December 31 deadline for the entry of vehicles manufactured in 2013.

According to the eight-year age limit rule, vehicles made in 2013 will be banned from entering the country by the end of the year, since they would be more than eight years old.

Importers said the Covid-19 pandemic delayed the arrival of some units ordered in March and May, noting that the State should extend the deadline by three months to allow them to clear the backlog.

Car Importers Association (CIA) and Kenya National Chamber of Commerce (KNCCI) said a three months extension will help avert losses.

On Saturday Car Importers Association (CIA) National Chairman Peter Otieno said most of the vehicles were stuck in Japan United, Kingdom, Dubai, Singapore and China.

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Shipping schedules

About 20,000 second-hand vehicles are imported into the country monthly, according to the Kenya Ports Authority statistics.

Mr Otieno said the pandemic affected the schedules of ships and freight fraternity that has caused a backlog of vehicles that are set to be imported. He did not, however, state the number of importers affected by the rule.

He said shipping lines have also increased freight charges which has made importation expensive. “We have our members who have bought vehicles in Japan and UK and many other areas like Singapore and Dubai and are not able to book them into a vessel because there are no vessels,” explained Otieno.

“We need a blanket waiver from January to March. We should be allowed to bring in the 2013 units after December,” said Otieno.

He said the importers will incur huge losses if the state fails to extend the deadline. KNCCI Chairman Mustapha Ramadhan also urged the government to give the blanket waiver to avoid unnecessary loss of business, noting that the pandemic created a huge backlog.  

Importation Cars CIA KNCCI Car Importers Association
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