CA puts e-commerce, matatus companies on notice over illegal courier operations

Matatus waiting for passengers.

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

Matatus and e-commerce firms offering courier services without requisite licensing from the Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) face up to Sh300,000 in penalties upon conviction as the agency moves to rein in unauthorised operators.

In a public notice on Tuesday, the CA said the punishment could also include a year in jail or both under Section 49 of the Kenya Information and Communications Act enacted in 1998.

“It has come to the attention of the Authority that a number of unauthorised public service vehicles, [matatu] saccos and e-commerce players are offering courier services without obtaining the requisite license from the authority,” the regulator wrote in the notice.

“Members of the public are therefore advised to engage the services of licensed postal and courier operators to ensure the safety of their items and mitigate other risks associated with engaging unauthorised service providers.”

CA further urged the public to verify the validity of courier service providers by demanding to view a valid compliance certificate issued by the Authority noting that in so doing, service consumers stand to benefit from security of prescribed complaints resolution and compensation mechanisms.

As part of its mandate, the communications sector regulator plays a pivotal role in facilitating domestic and cross-border e-commerce activities by licensing both national and international courier providers for the transportation and delivery of packages.

The Authority’s data indicates that as of January 2023, a total of 261 international postal and courier operators had been licensed, in addition to the postal corporation of Kenya which is designated as the lone public postal operator.

The demand for courier services recorded a significant rise during the Covid-19 pandemic as households and businesses shifted their shopping habits in favour of the then rapidly emerging e-commerce platforms.

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