Kenya Bureau of Standards (Kebs) is shopping around for a new firm to pre-inspect imported second-hand motor vehicles.
Through a notice published in the Government newsletter on Tuesday, Kebs called on interested firms to present bids for the lucrative tender in the wake of a new age limit of imported used cars of seven years, down from eight.
The winning firm’s mandate, the standards body said, will include inspecting imported vehicles to ensure they are not above the age limit, are right-hand drive and roadworthy.
Kenya imports an average of 7,000 used vehicles each month, with motorists paying at least Sh5,000 for inspection charges to acquire a Kebs certification.
The tender to inspect vehicles from Japan, United Kingdom, Dubai, Singapore and South Africa had traditionally been awarded to three companies until 2015 when Kebs awarded the tender to one company – Quality Inspection Services Inc Japan (QISJ).
The move sparked a vicious tender dispute that spilled into the National Assembly. QISJ was accused of owning another company based in Japan that also deals with the importation of second-hand cars into the country, which violated the contractual obligations stipulated by Kebs.
Industry players also argued that awarding the tender to a firm that had interest in the importation business would create a monopolistic situation in the business. This is not the first time that the country’s standard’s body is finding itself in a tight spot with the inspection company.