Kenya racing to meet EAC directive on imported car age

EAC cabinet secretary Peter Munya /JOHN CHESOLI
EAC cabinet secretary Peter Munya /JOHN CHESOLI

The government has reinstated its plans to cap the age limit of imported cars to five years.
Trade and industry CS Peter Munya said the policy would apply for vehicles with an engine capacity of above 1500 cubic centimeters, will be implemented on July 1 and reduce to an age limit of three years by 2020.
The government’s decision is instructed by East African Community that recommends slashing of the age limit to five years by 2021, in a raft of measures intended to promote local manufacturing industry in the region.
EAC reported that the disjointed policy on age limits among the EAC member states was aiding flooding of the regional market with old cars and stifling the growth of new car manufacturing.
Currently, the law restricts importation of second-hand cars to not more than eight years old.
If the policy will be enforced, importers will have to buy vehicles manufactured not earlier than 2013.
They will also be required to obtain Certificates of Roadworthiness from countries of origin where Kenya Bureau of Standards has Pre-Export Verification of Conformity (PVoC) inspection arrangements.
“We are working to an age limit of zero. The policy would also give tax incentives for the industries to set up in the country and encourage the growth the assembly points,” CS Munya said.
The directive comes after domestic carmaker Mobius Motors said it has received 300 pre-orders for its second model to be produced at the Nairobi factory.
The local manufacturer’s three car models with 1800 cc engine go for between Sh1.3 million and sh1.58 million inclusive of tax.
CS Munya said the policy would exempt 1500 cc cars and below to consider low-income earners who cannot afford the high priced vehicles.
The country remains a large importer of cars but assembles commercial cars such as buses and pick-ups.
The number of saloon cars registered increased to 1031 in July 2018 according to Kenya National Bureau of Statistics, compared to 641 registered in the previous month.
Station wagons and vans increased to 6271 and 506 from 3901 and 367 respectively.
The production of assembled cars recorded an increase to 498 from 366 over the same period.
Importers are required to pay an import declaration of 2.25 per cent of cost, insurance, and freight value paid on the vehicle. A custom fee is also applied depending on the value of the vehicle.

WATCH: The latest videos from the Star