A report by People Daily on Wednesday, January 13, indicated that two associations have differed after the state allowed cars older than eight years to be imported into the country.
Car Importers Association of Kenya (CIAK) praised the move noting that it would help traders avert losses from imported cars that had already been ordered but delayed landing in Mombasa due to Covid-19 lockdown.
CIAK Chairman Peter Otieno, while speaking to the press, observed that the pandemic affected the imports of the cars whose deadline had been set for December 31, 2020.
He noted that most of the vehicles had been ordered from China, Japan, UK and Singapore in March and May 2020 but got stuck after businesses shut down hence creating the delay.
“We call on the government to extend the deadline for three months to enable importers to clear the vehicles.
“Let the government avert further losses on importers who had bought vehicles and were not able to book them for shipment since there were no vessels to ferry them,” he stated.
Kenya Auto Bazaar Association (KABA), on the other hand, argued that the relief offered by the state would be bad for business and has the potential of disrupting car prices.
KABA Chairman John Kipchumba stated that the Kenya Bureau of Standards (Kebs) had not issued exemptions and that the imports were likely to cause a glut in the market.
It is estimated that over 20,000 second-hand cars had remained in their country of origin and that only 15,000 arrived between October and December.
The consignments are expected to dock at the Mombasa Port by the end of January 2021.
In December 2020, Kebs), gave a reprieve for car importers on the eight-year car age limit restriction.
Kebs’ deadline of importing used cars older than eight years was postponed, a welcome move for car importers who had already ordered the cars.
Kebs allowed importers to lodge import documents for vehicles delayed due to shortage of vessels as evidence for consideration for the waiver from the 8-year old rule on second-hand vehicles.
“KEBS has received petitions that Covid-19 pandemic might have affected some importers due to disruption of shipping schedules.
“We, therefore, wish to inform such importers to lodge all the necessary supporting documents to prove the impact of Covid-19 on their shipment before a waiver can be considered,” the organisation noted.