The Kenya Bureau of Standards (Kebs) announced a ban over the importation of used car parts on Monday.
The dealers are staring at a bleak future after the Kebs moved to enforce a tough restriction on the importation of used car parts meant to kick off in July.
In a notice sent out to pre-shipment cargo inspectors, the standards agency has specified 17 categories of second-hand spare parts that are banned from entry into the country in a policy shift intended to rid the market of the used car parts.
Kebs Corporate Communications Manager Phoebe Gituku has said the restriction applies only to used car parts.
“The used motor vehicle spare parts are not to be imported. This is outlined in the Standard and implementation began in March 2018. Kebs has only restricted the used spare parts, not new ones,” said Kebs Corporate Communications Manager Phoebe Gituku.
Car parts like tyres, tie-rod-ends, bearings, spark plugs, clutch plates, brake pads, tubes, brake hose pipes, rubber bushes, filters, pressure plates, rack ends, ball joints, break and clutch cables among others will now be imported only as new as per Kebs standard KS2190:2013.
The move, however, will be a blow to the hundreds of thousands of motorists who heavily rely on used motor vehicle spares, which are relatively cheaper and sometimes of better quality than new imports that mainly come from China, Taiwan, India and Indonesia.
Tens of thousands of Kenyans are engaged in the used parts trade, mainly based in Nairobi’s Kirinyaga Road, Grogon and industrial areas with others scattered across major towns around the country.
The number of used car imports as at now is 23,000 on a monthly basis and the ban is claimed to reduce the number to 4000 vehicles.
Kebs move is noted to lead to the loss of thousands of jobs of Kenyans who are engaged in the used parts business.