EA states join hands to ban importation of used clothes, cars

Wednesday February 25 2015

Residents of Kisumu town, Kenya, buy second hand clothes at a market. The proposed ban is aimed at promoting the region’s textile and leather industries. PHOTO | FILE |

East African heads of State have proposed a ban on the importation of second hand-clothes and the reduction of used vehicles.

The leaders proposed a ban on second-hand clothes, bags and shoes. This, they said, would promote the region’s textile and leather industries, which will eventually weed out the importation of used clothes popularly known as mitumba / mivumba.

In a joint statement, the leaders also directed the Council of Ministers to study modalities for the promotion of motor vehicle assembly with a view of stopping or reducing the importation of used vehicles in East Africa.

The council of ministers, composed of the region’s ministers in charge of East African Affairs, is required to report on their progress in the next summit.

Kenya and Rwanda banned the importation of cars that are more than 10 years old on the road.

This is not the first time EAC member states are proposing a reduction or a ban on the importation of used vehicles into the region. In 2009, the region imposed a common external tariff (CET) of 25 per cent on motor vehicles imported into the region as leaders sought to promote local vehicle assembly.


Kenya, under the Kenya Vehicle Manufacturers, manufactures a motoring unit called Mobius, which is currently available on the market for $10,620 (Shs30.2m).

However, its supply within the region has been limited, with experts saying there are barriers that need to be worked on for its proper penetration of the market.

READ: Barriers put the brakes on car assembly in EA