NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 7 – The Kenya Motor Industry has praised the Kenya Bureau of Standards for its "political courage and technical good sense" in banning the importation of used motor vehicle parts.
The KMI has long supported the Bureau of Standards\’ aim to "halt the importation of sub-standard goods to Kenya" and advised that imports should be allowed only from manufacturers with international standards certification and with a meaningful warranty.
"This move will make motoring safer and in the long-run more economical", KMI Chairman Bill Lay said on Wednesday. "There is no way to assess the history or condition of used parts, and fitting them is always a risk. They come cheap, but they are usually a false economy and often downright dangerous."
Mr Lay said: "Given the market appetite for the lowest possible price, this is a bold move by KEBS but it is the right move. Price cannot be the only criterion, and a quality line must be drawn somewhere."
He said consumers would have to remain vigilant as there were still large stocks of sub-standard parts in stores all over Kenya, and that KEBS would need to ensure that used vehicle spares did not continue to enter the market as bulk shipments of "scrap metal".
Mr Lay said consumers still had competitive choice between original/genuine parts and those offered by independent brands, and he urged motor dealers to "tighten their margins" as much as possible to keep parts affordable under the new import discipline.
The KMI has recommended a parallel reduction in the duty on new vehicle parts as a way to enable and encourage motorists to keep their vehicle in good condition at affordable prices.
The ban on importation of used parts is a logical extension of earlier legislation which banned the import of used tyres, and the KS1515 Standard which limits the aged of used vehicle imports.
"All of these measures are aimed at steadily improving the safety, quality and economy of motoring in Kenya," Mr Lay said, "and at preventing this country from becoming a dumping ground for junk."