Used car importers to pay Ksh.2000 pest inspection fee

Used car importers to pay Ksh.2000 pest inspection fee. [Image: Courtesy]
KENYA — Importers of used cars could soon start paying an inspection fee of Ksh.2000 per unit, following government’s move to stop importation of foreign pests.

The government has proposed the inspection fee of each minibus and van to be Ksh.3000 while that for bus, lorry or truck at Ksh.5000. Heavy commercial machinery have been estimated at a Ksh. 10,000 inspection fee.

Fees have varied from 2017 when the Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service (Kephis) first came up with a proposed charge of 5,000 for each motor vehicle.

The agency says imports of used vehicles and equipment continue to pose a major threat to the introduction of pests or diseases, prompting new regulations to be published.

According to Kephis Managing Director Theophilus Mutui, “The Crop Protection Rules (decontamination of used vehicles, machinery and equipment) 2021 have therefore been developed to provide a legal framework for mitigating the risks associated with this route.”

Importers of used cars have been invited for virtual meeting on Thursday to give their opinions on the move.

The dealers who are against the inspection fee have asked Kephis to first demonstrate the threat of the import used cars.

Should the regulations be passed, exporters of used vehicles and equipment will be forced to decontaminate them in their home markets before being shipped to Kenya.

“All used vehicles, machines, equipment, motor boats and yachts imported into or imported into Kenya and transported through Kenya, whether whole, disassembled or parts and related accessories, must undergo a phytosanitary decontamination before being shipped to Kenya.” Said the draft rules.

The pest inspection fee applies to other used equipment and associated parts as well.

Any container packing tires, wires, or disassembled equipment will charge an inspection fee of Sh3, 000, while the proposed fee for an aircraft, motorized boat, and yacht is Sh20, 000 each.

The agency is expected to collect over Ksh.200 million annually from the inspection fees collected.

Offenders of the proposed rules will face a fine of Ksh.2 million or jail time of up to two years or both.