East Africa to harmonize vehicle inspection standards to enhance road safety

The East African Community (EAC) member states are set to harmonize their vehicle inspection standards in order to enhance roads safety, Kenya's road safety agency said on Friday.

Gerald Wangai, director of Motor Vehicle Inspection at Kenya's National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA), told Xinhua in Nairobi that currently each of the six EAC partner states have different vehicle inspection standards.

"All the road safety agencies in the EAC have agreed to adopt a single vehicle inspection standard to ensure road traffic accidents are reduced," Wangai said during the stakeholders' forum of truckers on self regulation on the axle load limit.

EAC partner states include Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi and South Sudan.

Wangai said that harmonization of vehicle inspection standards will lead to mutual recognition of national inspection certifications by other member states.

He noted that relaxation of the borders among trading bloc states has resulted in vehicles inspected in one member state plying the roads of another partner state.

He added that due to different national vehicle standards, automobile owners are forced to undergo inspection by other EAC member states.

"This is a form of non tariff barrier that slows down the progress on regional integration," he said.

The NTSA official stressed that the economic bloc is already undertaking joint regional road projects that aim to ease flow of people and goods in the region.

Wangai noted that the harmonization of the vehicle inspection standards will also promote regional and international trade given that the hinterland countries of the EAC depend on Kenya's port of Mombasa as well as Tanzania's port of Dar es Salaam for imports and exports.



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