Local motor vehicle assemblers have been granted a temporary reprieve after enforcement date for implementing new standards restricting environmental pollution was delayed.
Assemblers were in negotiation with government over the 2021 deadline to comply with the new rules contained in the Kenya Bureau of Standards (KS 1515: 2019) that have seen the country adopt Euro 4 emissions levels, replacing the more lenient measures that had been in place since 2000.
“Yes we did negotiate and we have three years from December 2019,”said Arvinder Reel, Managing Director, Toyota Kenya. He added that the new date for the assemblers to transition was January 1, 2023.
Immediate implementation of the control of pollutants such as carbon monoxide would have made vehicles more expensive while the air quality improves.
Commercial vehicles assembled locally including buses, pick-ups and trucks are the main target of the regulations.
The Government, through Kebs, recently adopted the Euro 4 emissions controls that place tougher and more comprehensive limits on the emissions of carbon monoxide and other pollutants. The assemblers had sought additional time to comply with the new standard stating that they needed to do product planning, confirm fuel quality and prepare the assembly plants.
Rita Kavashe, Chief Executive at Isuzu East Africa and chairperson of Kenya Motor Industry Association, previously stated that efforts to control emissions will result in the fitting of new technologies in vehicles and that this would raise their prices.
Some of the actions required of the manufacturers include installation of devices such as particulate filters and catalytic converters that reduce toxic gases into less-toxic pollutants. This is expected to raise their costs which they are expected to pass on to buyers.
The old standard simply capped the concentration of carbon monoxide at a volume of 0.5 percent while that of hydrocarbons stood at 0.12 percent or 1,200 parts per million (ppm).
The Euro 4 standard has stricter and more comprehensive limits on the emissions of carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons, nitrogen oxides and particulate matter.