The Ugandan government has tightened regulations for the importation of second-hand cars with a new pre-import inspection standard.
The new standard, US845, specifies safety and performance characteristics of the vehicles and their inspection and testing for roadworthiness.
Exporters are required to apply for assessment of their exports for conformity with the new standard by an appointed company, according to the Pre-Export Verification of Conformity (PVoC) requirements.
Exporters of vehicles that pass the test will be issued with a certificate of conformity.
Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UNBS) executive director Ben Manyindo said the review of the standards was occasioned by a growing demand for standard procedures in the inspection of used vehicles destined for Uganda.
“The standard provides guidelines to streamline the process of inspecting motor vehicles. Inspectors, garages and mechanics will find the standards useful for carrying out routine checks and inspections,” Dr Manyindo said.
But the certificate will only be valid for a year after which the car will have to undergo another roadworthiness test.
Ugandan importers have been asked to lodge any complaints about the standard by September 5, when the UBS technical committee is expected to review comments from stakeholders.
When passed, the National Standards Council will approve and declare it a national standard. The standard could impact used-car imports to Uganda, where they comprise 80 per cent of the cars on the road.
East African countries have recently tightened rules on importation of second-hand cars into the region as part of the efforts to encourage local assembling.
In their report to the 18th East African Community Heads of State Summit in April, the Council of Ministers recommended lowering of the age limit for used imported vehicles to five years by 2021.
Kenya allows the imports of used cars with an age limit of up to eight years while Tanzania allows imports of cars as old as 10 years. Burundi, Rwanda and South Sudan have no formal age limits for used cars.