Motor vehicles importers have appealed to the government to give a 100 per cent waiver on used motor vehicles being held at the port of Mombasa.
The vehicles arrived at the port of Mombasa in late last year and early this year.
The Car Importers Association of Kenya wants the Industrialisation cabinet secretary Adan Mohammed to intervene and have the more than 2,000 units released.
The 2006 used motor vehicles are said to have exceeded the eight years age limit hence are being held at the port.
Others are said to have expired certificates of inspections which were issued during the time of inspection in the country of origin.
However, the association national chairman Peter Otieno yesterday said the vehicles arrived in the country in late December with some arriving in early January due to unavoidable circumstance hence they are still valid.
“The vehicles arrived in the country before December 31, and other arrived in 2014 due to unavoidable shipping logistical problems. They could not be cleared on time. There is also a misunderstanding of age of the units from the date of registration,” said Otieno.
Addressing journalists in Mombasa yesterday, Otieno said the 2006 vehicles should be grouped according to the month of registration and not the year since they are inspected on different months of the year.
He accused the Kenya Bureau of Standards (Kebs) of frustrating clearing of the vehicles despite having being inspected and approved at the point of origin which indicate that they are still within the eight years age limit.
“We ask the minister to fast track waiver of the vehicles up to the end of January this year,” he said.
According to the association, MV Morning conductor Voyage 054 was to arrive in the country by December 25, 2013 but delayed due to transshipment problems hence the 500 units it was carrying were still within the age limit as per the bill of lading attached to the shipment.
Tranquil Ace Voyage also left Japan on December 1, 2013 and was supposed to be in the country by December 24.
MV Grete Maersk left Felixtowe Trinity terminal in the UK on December 12, 2013 and the cargo was to be in Kenya in two weeks time.
“All these are units that are still within the age limit as per the bill of landing and inspection certificates but someone somewhere is trying to frustrate the importers. It is high time we think of facilitating trade and not frustrating trade in the country,” Otieno said.
According to the association, owners of the held batch have to part with USD 220 approximately Sh 20,000 for a re-inspection by KEBS and another Sh 2,800 for inspection by the transport ministry before their units are cleared.
They also have to be there physically.
“Isn’t this stealing from the people? Let’s have proper age description where both the Kebs and the Kenya Revenue Authority will harmonize their system for a smooth understanding,” he said.
He said importers have also incurred heavy losses including the storage charges and the customs warehouse rates which they have to pay.