Wednesday, June 7, 2023

UK Protests over Kenya Proposed Ban on used buses and trucks

The UK fears fewer used commercial vehicles will leave the country as a result of Kenya’s planned ban on second-hand buses and trucks. There have been serious protests as a result.

On July 1, 2022, these used vehicle sanctions were scheduled to be implemented. A court has, however, frozen these sanctions for the time being. Betty Maina, the Cabinet Secretary for Industrialisation and Trade, expressed disappointment at these sanctions.

The flow of goods between Kenya and Britain might be affected by escalating tensions. As a result of a new trade agreement signed by Kenya and Britain in December 2020, Kenyan goods could enter the United Kingdom duty-free after Brexit, side-stepping any negative repercussions of this global event.

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In her statement to the media, Ms Maina stated that the protest would be handled by the Kenya-United Kingdom Economic Partnership Agreement Council.

Assuring smooth implementation of the March 2021 trade agreement, including resolving trade disputes, is the responsibility of representatives from both countries on the EPA Council.

The UK has formally inquired about possible changes to used vehicle regulations, according to Ms Maina. At the next meeting of the EPA Council, this topic will be discussed.

The EPA Council reviews export numbers and experiences between two countries fairly regularly.

Importation freeze

A ban on Kenya importation of used vehicles longer than seven meters was supposed to be implemented starting in July 2022, according to the Kenya Bureau of Standards’ announcement in April.

As well as used commercial trucks with a load capacity above 3.5 tonnes, they were banned. Kenya will only accept new tractor heads and prime movers through June 2023, no older units will be accepted, according to the announcement.

Justice Oscar Angote of the Environment and Land Court suspended the notice following a petition filed by Busia County’s senator-elect and activist Okiya Omtatah in July.

The UK exports a significant number of second-hand Ford and Fiat prime movers as well as Caterpillar construction equipment exports into Kenya, despite largely manufacturing Leyland trucks.

Local players are forced to close down in the East African Community as a result of ambiguous policies and inadequate supply, resulting in dealers seeking opportunities in neighbouring countries.

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Uganda, for example, continues to import used commercial vehicles, which operate in Kenya as well, and the assembly of the majority of European models of prime movers does not occur locally.

It appears that a few rules are causing concern for the UK, but the issue is still at the technical stage and hasn’t reached the ministerial level yet, according to Ms Maina.

Ms Maina chairs the EPA Council, which includes the Attorney-General Kihara Kariuki, the Secretary of Treasury, and the Secretary of Agriculture, as well as East African Community (EAC).

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