Kebs renders thousands jobless

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Kenya’s unemployment  rate  is expected to raise higher after the Kenya Bureau of Standards (Kebs) moved to enforce a tough restriction on the importation of used car parts.

Thousands of second-hand motor vehicle spare parts dealers are staring at a bleak future following the new Kebs rules.

The standards agency, in a notice sent out to pre-shipment cargo inspectors, 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.

The policy change is part of the government’s agenda to gradually phase out second-hand vehicles with the ultimate aim of creating substantial demand for new, locally-assembled vehicles.

The Ministry of Industrialisation has been developing regulations in the controversial National Automotive Policy intended to restrict import of used cars that are older than five years, arguing that this will boost local manufacturers and create high-quality jobs in the long run.

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The law currently allows import of second-hand vehicles that are up to eight years old.

Kebs Corporate Communications Manager Phoebe Gituku said the restriction applies only to used car parts and does not put any barriers for importers of new spares.

The Kebs notice is pegged on the agency’s standard KS2190:2013. This requires that 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 are to be imported only as new.

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