Importers of used motor vehicles have expressed fear that their vehicles impounded at various private Container Freight Stations (CFSs) in Mombasa after being declared older than the permissible eight years have gone missing.
Association of Importers of Motor Vehicles (AIMV) national chairman Mr Peter Mambembe raised the alarm on Monday saying most of the 4000 cars they stopped from destruction through courts in 2012 were missing. The importers allege that the vehicles could have been stolen at the CFSs or secretly destroyed by the government.
Mr Mambembe said after members were allowed by Kenya Bureau of Standards (Kebs) re-export the vehicles, they managed to trace only 80 vehicles. “Out of 4000 vehicles I managed to trace only 80 vehicles,” said Mambembe.
He estimated cost of the vehicles and loss of business at about Sh6 billion and threatened to issue CFSs and Kenya Ports Authority KPA) which nominates the private warehouse operators to court to provide the disputed vehicles. In a letter dated March24 this year, Kebs allowed the importers of vehicles aged more than eight years to re-export them.
Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) also issued a similar letter dated on March 26 this year. Mambembe said AIMV members were planning to re-export the vehicles to Uganda and South Sudan after they were declared unroadworthy in Kenya under the KS1515:2000 eight year age limit rule but they are not available.
About seven years, then acting Finance minister the late John Michuki ordered the destruction of hundreds of overstayed vehicles at the port of Mombasa to free space for new imports and exports.