Goods shipped into the country in 163 containers failed to meet set standards and will be destroyed.
The merchandise worth Sh250 million includes used tyres, spaghetti and rice that have since been segregated and declared substandard by the Kenya Bureau of Standards (Kebs).
According to Kebs, the rice was found to be expired at the time of importation while the spaghetti consignment failed to meet the Kenyan standard specifications when subjected to laboratory analysis.
“Used tyres were condemned on account of their status as used tyres are prohibited in Kenya,” said Kebs managing director Charles Ongwae today.
Traders and importers bringing goods to Kenya directly without acquiring Pre-Verification Certificates of Origin issued by appointed inspection agencies sanctioned by Kebs have a tough job convincing customs why their goods should be allowed in.
This follows imposition of new rules requiring all goods destined for Kenya be inspected at source where an inspecting agency will also determine the amount of duty to be paid from the product manufacturer or supplier.
The regulation is intended to help government check tax evasion as inspection agencies’ fees are pegged on a percentage of the total value of goods.
“We have been subjecting all goods to 100 percent verification that were not cleared at the country of origin and this is a warning to unscrupulous traders who have been misusing Kebs marks of quality that their days are numbered,” said Mr Ongwae in a statement Wednesday.
Multiple State agencies including Kebs, the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) and other regulators have stepped up surveillance at border entry points to stem importation of illicit goods into Kenya.
“We must eliminate illicit goods from our markets if the manufacturing pillar (Big Four) is to succeed. Illicit goods which could be counterfeits, substandard or contraband must be destroyed,” Industrialization CS Adan Mohamed said.
Manufacturing is part of the Big 4 Agenda announced by President Uhuru Kenyatta where he committed to inject funds and influence policy that promotes manufacturing, building of affordable housing, enhancing food security and provision of universal healthcare.
Mr Adan said they were in the process of acquiring an incinerator to hasten destruction of substandard merchandise.