Shipping & Logistics

2,280 containers nabbed at port over misdeclared goods

Containers at the Inland Container Depot in Nairobi.
Containers at the Inland Container Depot in Nairobi. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

The Kenya Revenue Authority has intercepted 2,282 containers for misdeclaration of goods since January.

The details are contained in a statement from the commissioner for Customs and Border Control Julius Musyoki.

The interception, it said, was enabled by the Customs Cargo Scanners installed at the port of Mombasa.

“Out of the 70,000 scanned import containers between January 1 and August 30 this year, 2,282 containers have been intercepted,” said the statement.

“Most of them had mis-declaration of items ranging from highly taxed garments, cosmetics, electronics, vehicle parts and the restricted gaming machines. These are normally disguised as low taxed items such as agricultural items, farm implements and tools, furniture’s, personal effects and egg incubators.”


One of the most notable cases was the interception of Range Rover vehicles that had been declared as household goods and concealed with baby walkers at container door and concealed counterfeit East Africa cables at ICDN at the rear side of consolidated cargo container.

“Other cases were the interception of concealed new garments that had been declared as egg incubators that attract no import duty. There was the concealing of gaming machines at the rear side of containers disguised as refrigerators,” KRA added.

The commissioner said that they have already put in place new measures that are aimed at ending tax evasion and also to eradicate contraband goods and fight against the importation of counterfeits

“We are working on integration of scanners and establishment of command centres which will give us a 3-D view of the entire scanning process and enhance management of the scanners.

“We have plans to invest in more advanced cargo scanners which are capable of giving better image quality and have capabilities of automatically detecting contraband,” the statement further noted.

The commissioner said that although not all the imported cargo through the Port of Mombasa is scanned, 60 per cent of the cargo has to go through scanning.

He added that KRA wants to achieve 100 per cent of scanning of containerised, palletised and baggage cargo in near future.

“Before the introduction of scanners at Mombasa port, most contraband goods used to get access through various concealment methods but that has drastically reduced. A lot of revenue losses were due to mis-declarations and concealments which have also drastically reduced.”