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Reprieve For Nairobi Business Community As Government Issued Fresh Orders

WhatsApp Image 2024 03 25 at 12.51.24

Small-scale traders and importers can breathe a sigh of relief after the government ordered the release of their goods held at Mombasa port within two weeks of standard verification.

In a series of interventions announced by Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua on Thursday (28 March) after meeting with small traders, the goods will be released upon confirmation that they meet the required standards.

The government also reversed a decision to increase the import duty on each container from Sh2.5 million to Sh3 million.

This was after traders complained that the extra Sh500,000 was unjustified and that they were not involved.

Gachagua also said traders would be issued with a single certificate of conformity and compliance from the Anti-Counterfeiting Authority and the Kenya Bureau of Standards instead of double checking of goods by the two government agencies.

DP Gachagua called the meeting after the traders claimed that their businesses were dying due to alleged imposition of new import duty by the KRA and harassment by police and Anti-Counterfeiting Authority officials.

In the resolutions read out by the Deputy President, it was agreed that the Anti-Counterfeiting Agency will henceforth involve traders in the verification and inspection of their goods and that KRA will not introduce levies or import duties on goods without public participation with stakeholders.

“KRA will negotiate with the Kenya Ports Authority and shipping lines for the release of the detained goods. For the withheld containers, importers will pay the initial agreed duty and KRA will expedite the clearance of the containers for release to traders by next week,” said DP Gachagua.

In addition, the Deputy President said the Kenya Bureau of Standards and the Anti-Counterfeit Authority will harmonise their work in clearing imported goods to expedite the certification process and issuance of certificates of compliance and conformity.

The stakeholders (importers, traders and officials from relevant government agencies) have formed an inter-agency team that will meet monthly to address issues affecting small businesses in the county.

The first meeting is scheduled for 10 April 2024 to review the implementation of the resolutions.

Gachagua also directed the Anti-Counterfeiting Authority to take action against its officers accused of harassing businessmen during inspections under the guise of searching for contraband goods.

The MP further said an amendment bill to the Public Procurement and Asset Disposal Act, 2015, which he had sponsored when he was MP for Mathira, would be revived to protect local businesses from unfair competition by foreigners.

Also Read: Ruto Ally List 4 Reasons Why Vocal Kenya Kwanza Supporters Have Gone Silent

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