Source:East African Business Week
By David Muwanga,
9 July 2012
Arusha — Partner states of the East African Community should harmonise standards related to vehicles that are being imported in the region in order to reduce the death toll on roads and vehicle emissions.
This was among the resolutions made at the end of a consultative meeting on the age limit of imported used motor vehicles entering the community jointly organized by East African Business Council (EABC) and the East African Community in Nairobi, Kenya.
The meeting followed a directive by the EAC council of ministers to further discuss the relationship between the age limit of imported cars and environmental pollution, safety, fuel consumption efficiency, social well-being, economic activities, technological and industrial developments.
A statement issued b y the EABC in Arusha, Tanzania last week the participants observed that vehicle and traffic deaths on East African roads ranged from 23 to 34 people per population of 100,000, which figures were drawn from the World Health Organization (WHO) Global Status Report on Road Safety of the year 2009.
The participants noted that high vehicle emissions associated with aging vehicles continue to rise in the region while the situation is aggravated by the road networks in Rwanda and Burundi that use of Left Hand Drive cars that are expensive which forces them to import cheaper right hand vehicles.
“Trade in used vehicles and related machinery constitutes a barrier to industrial growth and killing of innovation, it also poses the risk of transferring outdated technologies for which replacement parts are unavailable or can only be procured through expensive custom-made orders,” said the EABC executive director Agartha Nderitu.
She said that availability of cleaner fuels will allow more advanced vehicle emission standards and improved technology.
She said in a statement last week that the partner states were urged to set age limit for the importation of the used motor vehicles in EAC with a phase out plan towards newer technologies.
“Partner States should adopt international categorization of motor vehicles according to their utility and develop different standards and age limits for the different types of vehicles, they should harmonize the road worthiness inspection regimes in the region and respective technical regulations,” said said quoting the resolutions from the meeting.
She said that partner states were also urged to harmonize pre-shipment importation inspection schemes, establish and implement effective fuel quality monitoring system taking in consideration of recent technological developments.