TIGHTER controls have led to fewer complaints from buyers of used imported cars, according to the Kenya Bureau of Standards.
The firms chief executive officer Charles Ongwae said yesterday that the decision to use a single pre-shipment inspection company is providing better results.
He said no vehicle has been rejected this year for flouting the age limit rule for importing second hand cars after a massive 2,000 were rejected in January 2014.
“When you have three inspection companies and a fixed price, all they do is fight for market share and chances that they will let unroadworthy vehicles pass through without proper vetting are very high,” said Ongwae.
His remarks follow weeks of complaints from Car Importers Association of Kenya who have questioned Kebs move to revert to use of one inspection company as opposed to the previous three.
They argued that the move is likely to cause delays because of capacity constraints.
However Kebs said that Quality Inspection Services Japan – the firm that won the pre-shipment inspection contract for the next three years – is well equipped and has a wide network to ensure all vehicles will be serviced on time.
According to Kebs, QISJ had checked 3,014 vehicles by last Friday, more than half of those vetted in February, when the government was using two firms for the job pending ruling of an appeal against the tender award to QISJ. Last month a total of 5,300 vehicles were inspected by the two firms.
Last year Kebs rejected 2,000 cars, most of which are still parked at the Mombasa Port, for being more than eight years old, because they arrived in Kenya between January and March 2014. The vehicles had been inspected between November and December 2013. Vehicles above eight years from the year of first registration are not allowed into Kenya.
“No single over age vehicle was brought in to Mombasa this year and you see now what happens when you strictly enforce the rules,”Ongwae said.
Kebs has also said that complaints over dates where there is a mismatch on the taxes collected by Kenya Revenue Authority and the logbook being issued by the National Transport and Safety Authority after inspections can be addressed through processes stipulated under the law.
“As much as there is a mismatch, there is a process through which anybody who wants to correct that mismatch can use,” Ongwae said.
Car importers want the inspection certificate of roadworthiness to bear only the year of first registration and exclude the month arguing that the difference has created confusion in the taxes vehicle importers pay.
Kebs said QISJ was fully compliant with its contract terms adding that turnaround time for vehicle inspection was an average two days Japan and UK and one day in UAE and South Africa hence there will be no issue of delays. The firm has 53 inspection sites, out of which 29 are in Japan, 18 in UK, while South Africa and UAE have one each.