New Changes in Importation of Cars & Electric Motorbikes That Were Implemented in January

Effective January 1, 2024, various regulations were imposed on the importation of vehicles, electric motorbikes and other car components such as batteries.

As detailed in various notices issued by the Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS), the changes cover the age limit for second-hand vehicles and inspection compliance, among others, as detailed below by

Age Limit

In a notice issued in December 2023, KEBS informed Kenyans seeking to purchase second-hand vehicles from abroad that only vehicles registered from January 1, 2017 onwards, would be allowed to the country.

A photo of the Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) offices in Kisumu.



KEBS reiterated that the directive was in line with the 8-year-age limit, which is imposed on second-hand vehicles.

Consequently, potential buyers were informed that any vehicle registered in 2016 dating back would be rejected at the point of entry, with the importers bearing the costs.

“Vehicles exported to Kenya shall be expected to comply with KS 1515:2000- Kenya Code of Practice for Inspection of Road Vehicles while vehicles from countries where KEBS has an inspection agency (i.e. Japan, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, Thailand, Singapore, and South Africa) shall be accompanied with a Certificate of Roadworthiness (COR) issued by Quality Inspection Services Inc. Japan (QISJ) which is an inspection company contracted by KEBS,” the agency directed.

Kenyans mostly import second-hand vehicles from Japan and the United Kingdom (UK) as they are cheaper.

Electric Vehicles

On the other hand, KEBS indicated that imported electric vehicles’ car batteries will have to undergo inspection at the point of entry.

According to the quality assurance agency, the mandatory pre-export verifications of conformity inspection will be done by agents approved by KEBS.

Consequently, the batteries have to be accompanied by Certificates of Conformity (CoCs) before being allowed into the country.

Uptake of electric vehicles is expected to increase in the year as Kenyans move to more cost-efficient and environment-friendly modes of transport.

A chain of electric motorbikes from Opibus company.


Electric Motorbikes

Similar to the electric vehicle batteries, electric vehicles have to undergo mandatory conformity inspection.

“Please note that only Electric Motorcycle and Electric Motor Vehicle Batteries Electric Motorcycle and Electric Motor Vehicle Batteries accompanied by Certificates of Conformity (CoCs) issued by KEBS-appointed PVOC agents shall be allowed into the country.

“The list of Pre-shipment inspection agents is available on the KEBS website: Pre-Export Verification of Conformity – Kenya Bureau of Standards (,” read the notice in part.

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