The Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) has banned the importation of used mini-buses, double-decker, and large buses into the country.
The ban, which takes effect from July 1, is the latest move by the government to protect and promote local assemblers.
However, used passenger micro-buses of up to seven metres overall length shall continue to be imported, but strictly under the country’s eight-year rule.
used mini-buses, large buses, single articulated and bi-articulated buses and double decker buses will not be allowed for importation into the country, a move that industry players say will affect their business especially given the short notice that comes with the directive.
Peter Otieno, Chair, Motor Vehicles Importers Association said: “What happens to the vehicles that people have ordered and are in the high seas coming into the country? Most of these vehicles are used for business and the owners have taken loans to finance the purchase.”
Further, the agency detailed that the vehicles must meet the EURO IV/4 emission standards that are intended to limit the emission of nitrogen oxide into the environment with potential buyers advised to seek clarification.
In a statement, Isuzu East Africa MD Rita Kavashe stated that they welcomed the move by the government and that they have capacity to meet the local demand having produced more than 5,300 vehicles last year.
Ms. Kavashe also said that the move will create employment for Kenyans who will work in the sector.
A recent Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) report indicated that Kenyans imported over 78,000 vehicles in 2021, which was a 21 per cent increase from 2020, this attributed to the high cost of brand new cars both in the local and international market.