Traders who imported expired rice, unwholesome spaghetti and used tyres via Mombasa Port are counting their losses after the government ordered destruction of the Sh250 million consignments.
Kenya Bureau of Standards (Kebs) said the condemned goods were contained in 163 containers that underwent thorough screening before being declared substandard.
Managing director Charles Ongwae said the rice was found to have expired at the time of importation while the spaghetti failed to meet the Kenyan standard specifications.
“Used tyres were condemned on account of their status as used tyres are prohibited in Kenya,” said Mr Ongwae.
Kebs and the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) imposed new rules that require all goods destined to Kenya be verified at source where an inspecting agency will also determine the duty to be paid from the manufacturer.
The move is part of government’s effort to tighten the noose on tax evaders where importers under-declare the true cost of the goods.
Inspection agency fees are pegged on a percentage of the total value of goods with the same sent to Kenya via the Internet to enable KRA charge the correct duty.
“We have been subjecting all goods that were not cleared by our inspection agencies at the country of origin to 100 per cent verification and this is a warning to unscrupulous traders who have been misusing Kebs marks of quality that their days are numbered,” said Mr Ongwae.
Speaking during the destruction at Bamburi, Mombasa, Industrialisation secretary Adan Mohamed said Kebs and KRA are working with other government agencies based at the port and other border entry points to ensure substandard goods are not imported to Kenya.
Mr Mohamed said the multi-agency team comprising Kebs, KRA officials and other regulatory agencies will remain vigilant at all border entry points to ensure substandard goods do not reach the Kenyan market.