All consolidated import cargo will be fully inspected to weed out counterfeit, contraband and substandard goods, the government has announced.
In a statement on Thursday, Industrialisation and Trade Cabinet Secretary Adan Mohamed said an incinerator will be installed at the Port of Mombasa to hasten destruction of counterfeit, substandard or contraband goods.
Kenya Bureau of Standards (Kebs) Managing Director James Ongwae said a multisectoral team operating in all the entry points will be inspecting consolidated cargo.
“This is effective from today. If we find substandard goods it is going to be destroyed. We have also commenced a 100 per cent inspection of all containers carrying used shoes and clothes.
"We have already condemned two containers carrying used clothes and shoes at the port of Mombasa. All imports through Eldoret airport will undergo a 100 per cent inspection,” warned Mr Ongwae.
He said the team has a list of owners of some of the 163 condemned containers with goods valued at Sh250 million.
Ten of the containers were on Wednesday destroyed. Kebs boss led ministry officials in destroying the substandard imported goods worth more than Sh15 million.
The remaining containers are earmarked for destruction in the coming weeks.
The destruction at Bamburi Cement plant is part of the government’s efforts to end importation of fake goods.
“Some of the owners went underground after their containers were discovered to be substandard. But in cases where the owners are known they will be prosecuted. Most of the items were imported through a bank.
"Mombasa port, Eldoret and Jomo Kenyatta international airports are among entry points where contraband goods are sneaked into the country. But we are scanning all containers,” he warned.
He said all imports through the Eldoret airport would be subjected to a 100 per cent inspection to ensure they meet the required standards and specifications.
Mr Ongwae warned traders against importing counterfeits that are killing the local market.
Trade Principal Secretary Chris Kiptoo said the goods were liable to seizure, forfeiture and destruction as per the standards Act CAP 496 and the East African Community Custom Management Act
“President Uhuru Kenyatta has declared total fight against illicit trade. It is a number one enemy to the development of Kenya.
"These 10 containers are part of 163 earmarked for destruction in the coming weeks,” Dr Kiptoo said.
The incinerated goods were expired rice imported from Pakistan, used tyres that are condemned and prohibited in Kenya, and spaghetti that did not meet standards specification after laboratory analysis.