The government has announced that importers of used motor vehicles could soon start paying a Sh5,000 as inspection fee for every car they bring in the country.
The Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service (Kephis) has proposed a draft second hand car imports have become a major problem in terms of new pest introduction in the country.
“Our objective is to prevent entry of pests. This is part of a new international standard on pest control,” Kephis managing director Esther Kimani said.
Car dealers have opposed the deal stating that it’s just a way of people trying to fill their pockets.
“The proposed fumigation fee is just but a conduit to get money from motor vehicle importers and is not meant for anything else,” said Charles Munyori, the secretary-general of Kenya Auto Bazaar Association.
“The question Kephis should answer is what has suddenly happened to warrant this fee. We have been importing vehicles from the 1980s without causing any harm to plant health. What has changed?”
Mr Munyori said the proposed fee of Sh5,000 per vehicle will translate to Sh35 million per month and close to Sh500 million per year for the agency.
Inspecting a car or truck takes less time and stakeholders are set to challenge the logic of the higher fee on vehicles.
“A closer look at the proposed fee structure shows that a whole ship will pay Sh5,000, the same as a car. Does this make sense?” posed Mr Munyori. “This government agency should restrict itself to its core mandate and not result to introducing unnecessary fees as a way of generating revenue.”