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Kenya lifts ban on used spare parts

NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 7 – The government has revoked an import ban on second hand spare parts for motor vehicles, for now.

Industrialisation Permanent Secretary John Lonyangapuo has instructed the Technical Committee that developed the Kenyan standard for motor vehicle spare parts to compile a report on the issue.

“I expect the report by March 1, after which the government will give dealers and consumers direction on this matter,” he promised.

Mr Lonyangapuo issued the directive on Wednesday after holding a meeting with motor spare parts stakeholders at his office, following outcry from dealers in the industry due to a notice on the ban by the Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) on Monday.

The Kenya Auto Bazaar Association Chairman John Kipchumba immediately welcomed the move.

“I’m glad that the government is willing to give time to stakeholders to come up with an amicable way forward on this issue, because there are heavy investments on spares that were already on the shelves, at the port and on the high seas,” he said.

KEBS Managing Director Kioko Mang’eli announced the ban on Monday noting that the regulator could not ascertain the quality of the spare parts through testing, as they are not covered by existing standards.

Prof Lonyangapuo has in the meantime urged dealers to be vigilant on the quality of spare parts sold to consumers.

In 2005, the government put an age ceiling of eight years for all imported vehicles to ensure Kenya did not become a ‘dumping ground for old vehicles’.

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He regretted that the country was spending more money on the importation of used spare parts than on the importation of used cars.

“Every month, the country spends Sh2.1 billion on the importation of second hand motor vehicles and Sh2.5 billion on the importation of the second hand spare parts,” Prof Lonyangapuo relayed.

He urged entrepreneurs to work with the Kenya Industrial Research and Development Institute to produce some of the spare parts locally at more affordable prices.

Mr Mang\’eli told the meeting on Wednesday that he had decided to instil the ban because it was not possible to inspect the used parts before they are shipped into the country.

“You know there are no standards for used spare parts. The number of complaints that we are receiving from users of these imported spare parts is just alarming,” he revealed.

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