Used car importers to pay phytosanitary inspection fee of 2,000 shillings
- Used car importers may soon start paying an inspection fee of 2,000 shillings for each unit as the government renews its efforts to stop the importation of foreign pests.
- Inspection fees for each minibus or van have been proposed at 3,000 shillings, while those for buses, lorries or trucks are 5,000 shillings and heavy commercial machinery is 10,000 shillings.
- Fees have varied from 2017, when the Kenya Phytosanitary Inspection Service (Kephis) first offered the plan with a proposed fee of 5,000 for each motor vehicle.
Used car importers may soon start paying an inspection fee of 2,000 shillings for each unit as the government renews its efforts to stop the importation of foreign pests.
Inspection fees for each minibus or van have been proposed at 3,000 shillings, while those for buses, lorries or trucks are 5,000 shillings and heavy commercial machinery is 10,000 shillings.
Fees have varied from 2017, when the Kenya Phytosanitary Inspection Service (Kephis) first offered the plan with a proposed fee of 5,000 for each motor vehicle.
The agency says imports of used vehicles and equipment still pose a major threat of introducing pests or diseases, requiring the publication of new regulations.
“The plant protection rules (decontamination of used vehicles, machinery and equipment) 2021 have therefore been drawn up to provide a legal framework for the mitigation of the risks associated with this route”, wrote on May 6 the general manager of Kephis, Theophilus Mutui, to importers of used vehicles.
Importers have been invited to speak in a virtual meeting to be held on Thursday.
Used car dealers oppose inspection fees and ask Kephis to first demonstrate the level of threat posed by used vehicle imports.
“Kephis must show evidence of the threats they describe,” said Charles Munyori, the general secretary of the Kenya Auto Bazaar Association.
“We want to see the statistics they rely on to introduce the regulations and set the fees. Hundreds of thousands of used cars were brought into the country and we saw no danger. “
Munyori added that the proposed rules should not discriminate against importing used vehicles, arguing that pests can be introduced into the country by transporting many other goods.
If passed in its current form, the regulations will require exporters of used vehicles and equipment to disinfect them in their home market before shipping them to Kenya.
“All used vehicles, machinery, equipment, motor boats and yachts imported or imported and transiting through Kenya, whether whole, dismantled or associated parts and accessories, must have undergone phytosanitary decontamination before being dispatched. in Kenya, ”says the draft rules.
Inspection fees will also apply to other used equipment and associated parts.
Each container packing disassembled tires, wires or equipment will incur an inspection fee of 3,000 shillings while the proposed fee for an airplane, motorboat and yacht is 20,000 shillings each.
Kephis could collect over 200 million shillings per year on inspection fees. Imports of used passenger cars amount to around 80,000 per year, implying that importers will pay a combined inspection fee of 160 million shillings in this category alone.
Kephis is expected to accredit companies that will inspect cars. The proposed rules set a sentence of 2 million shillings or a jail term of up to two years or both for offenders.
The introduction of the Kephis charge on used motor vehicles is the latest in a growing list of port levies that have made imports increasingly expensive.
Importers of used vehicles currently pay 1,000 shillings for each unit as a radiological inspection fee.
Others include the railway development tax at the rate of 1.5 percent of the value of imports.
Importers of new vehicles and equipment have been exempted from the pest inspection fee, mainly because they expect imports to be unlikely to be infected.
The new vehicles are imported to Kenya entirely built from factories in markets such as Japan and South Africa.
They are also shipped as new parts from Malaysia, Japan and South Africa which are assembled at local factories including Kenya vehicle manufacturers, Isuzu East Africa and associated vehicle assemblers. .