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Small traders face losses as KPA moves to auction goods at port

BUSINESS
By Macharia Kamau | September 27th 2021

KPA's Inland Container Depot Nairobi (ICDN). [Jonah Onyango, Standard]

Small-scale traders dealing in imported goods will be among the major losers as the Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) plans a huge auction of cargo that has overstayed at its facilities.

KPA on Thursday gave importers a month to clear their goods out of the port, failure to which the authority would auction them.

“Pursuant to the provisions of Section 42 of the East African Community Customs Management Act, 2004, notice is given that unless the under-mentioned goods are entered and removed from the Customs Warehouse within 30 days from the date of this notice, they will be sold by public auction on October 27, 2021,” said Chief Manager at Inland Container Depot, Nairobi, Abdi Malik in a gazette notice.

Among those that were named as having uncollected goods include cargo consolidators, who import goods on behalf of small and micro businesses that buy in small quantities and do not have capacity to fill up shipping containers.

Also set for auction is equipment imported by CMC Di Ravenna, the Italian firm facing charges over the Kimwarer and Arror dams’ scandals.

The company is accused of inflating the cost of constructing the two dams from Sh46 billion to Sh63 billion.

Kenya Electricity Transmission Company is also on the list. Others include logistics firm Bollore, Stanbic Bank, Cooperative Bank and NCBA.

There has been an increasing number of goods auctioned as importers are unable to clear cargo at the port.

Kenya Revenue Authority in June had a major auction where it sold more than 300 cars and 200 containers carrying assorted items such as furniture, electronics and clothing.

It is one of the several major auctions that the authority has held in the course of this year.

Many businesses have cited the difficulties experienced owing to Covid-19 as among the reasons they have been taking longer than usual to clear their goods at the port.

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