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Car dealers clash after State directive takes effect

In Kenya, Car dealers have clashed after a government relief on vehicle importation took effect starting January 13, 2021.

According to a People Daily report dated Wednesday, January 13, 2021, the two associations have differed after the government allowed cars older than eight years to be imported into the country.

Car Importers Association of Kenya (CIAK)applauded the move stating that it would help traders prevent losses from imported vehicles that had already been ordered but delayed landing in Mombasa due to the Covid-19 lockdown measures.

Speaking to the press, the Association Chairman Peter Otieno explained that the pandemic greatly affected the imports of the cars whose deadline had been set for December 31, 2020.

Otieno observed that most vehicles had been ordered from China, UK, Japan, and Singapore in March and May last year but got stuck as businesses shutting down hence causing the delay.

“We plead with the government to extend the deadline for three months to allow importers to clear their vehicles,” he said.

He further urged the government to avert further losses on importers who had bought vehicles and could not book them for shipment since there were no vessels to ferry them.

On the other hand, Kenya Auto Bazaar Association (KABA)argued that the relief offered by the government would be bad for business and has the potential of interfering with car prices.

KABA chairman John Kipchumba said that the Kenya Bureau of Standards (Kebs)had not issued exemptions and that the imports may cause a glut in the market.

It is estimated that more than 20,000 second-hand cars had remained in the country of origin and that only 15,000 arrived between October and December.

The consignment is set to dock at the Mombasa Port by the end of January 2021.

In December 2020, Kebs allowed importers to lodge import documents for vehicles delayed due to a shortage of vessels as a show of consideration for the waiver from the 8-year-old rule on second-hand cars.

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