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State probes Japan agency on old car imports

By Cyrus Ombati | August 1st 2013

By Cyrus Ombati

Nairobi, Kenya: An international motor vehicle inspection company is on the spot for allowing importation of over-age vehicles into the country.

The Ethics Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) and Kenya Revenue Authority are have launched investigations on how Japan Export Vehicle Inspection Centre Company Limited (Jevic) approved the importation of more than 60 cars that have so far been detained for being over aged.

Jevic has been contracted by Kenya Bureau of Standards to conduct pre-shipment inspection to ensure compliance to Kenyan standards, all goods destined for Kenya, including vehicles, must be inspected prior to shipment.

It conducts the pre-export Roadworthiness Inspection of used motor vehicles from Japan and Dubai, destined for use within Kenya.

EACC and KRA have so far seized 29 over-age vehicles at the port of Mombasa, as it intensifies the war against the vice.

Officials said 33 others are at the port waiting to be cleared amid information that they had their importation documents falsified and they are over aged.

The law bars Kenyans from importing vehicles whose first year of registration is over eight years. The year of first registration is used to determine the depreciation when computing duty on the car.

The depreciation is based on the recommended retail prices of new cars provided by local dealers.

For example, a car that is seven to eight years old will be depreciated by 70 per cent, one that is six to seven years by 60 per cent, while one that is five to six years will be depreciated by 50 per cent.

This means the detained cars evaded paying tax.

Those caught will attract a penalty of 15 per cent of their value. A Certificate of Compliance is issued and makes up the documents that must be presented to KRA on importation.

This inspection by Jevic was initiated by KEBS to minimise the risk of unsafe and substandard vehicles entering the Kenyan market, thus ensuring the health, safety and environmental protection for Kenyans.

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