The Star (Nairobi)

30 August 2014

Kenya: Jevic Blames Exporter in Radioactive Cars Saga

THE Japan Export Vehicle Inspection Centre has dismissed claims that it permitted the recently re-shipped containerized radioactive used vehicles, to be imported into the country.

In a public notice, Jevic said it has been falsely accused of "permitting dangerous vehicles into Kenya, when high radioactive readings were found coming from a container with four used vehicles at Mombasa port last year".

Jevic Africa MD Lee Sayer who spoke to the Star on phone, said the company only inspected two of the four vehicles which were in the container.

The controversial container which was shipped back to Japan in March was impounded in January last year, after Kenya Ports Authority scanners detected radioactive emission.

The cargo was held by the Kenya Radiation and Protection Board until it was re-shipped.

According to Jevic, two of the vehicles inspected by the company met the standards imposed by Kebs and also the Japanese export requirements, thus posing no health risk.

The other two vehicles were not presented to Jevic, therefore not inspected by it, the company said .

"We want to set the record clear. We only inspected two of the vehicles which we certified as having met the standards to be exported to Kenya. During shipment, the exporter proceeded to load two other vehicles which we did not inspect and thus the likely source of the radioactivity," said Sayer.

He said Jevic's vehicle radiation assessment is accurate and has been up to standard since it begun inspecting vehicles destined for Kenya in 2009.

"Jevic cannot be responsible for vehicles we did not inspect, nor of the methods used to ship them. We continue to professionally serve the people of Kenya in providing safe vehicles in terms of radioactive contamination, assessment and road worthiness," Sayer said.

The container was shipped back to Japan after staying for more than a year at the port of Mombasa.

Meanwhile, Sayer has sought clarification on the company's contract .He said there was still confusion on a recent notice by Kebs , stating that the contract between them and Jevic had been terminated.

He said Vehicle importers were left confused because the notice stated at the end that the termination is "...in line with the current contract that expires on 15th January 2015."

"The notice on Kebs website is not clear. It is raising confusion among importers," said Sayer who confirmed that the company's inspection contract is still valid until next year.

Jevic's is among three companies contracted by Kebs for pre-shipment inspection.

Others are Auto Terminal Japan Ltd and Quality Inspection Services Inc Japan which inspect vehicles destined for import into Kenya.

Currently, the three companies inspect vehicles from Japan, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, Singapore and South Africa at a cost of Sh20, 000 per vehicle.

New contracts for the inspection of motor vehicles are expected to be implemented effective January 16, 2015, following procurement of the inspection agents through an open tender process.

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