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Traders throng Mombasa for KRA's big sale

By Benard Sanga | June 22nd 2021
Some of the 314 cars at Kenya Revenue Authority yard at Changamwe in Mombasa. KRA auction for 314 cars and 223 containers of various goods will be held on 23rd and 24th this month at their Custom house within Mombasa Port. June 21, 2021. [Omondi Onyango, Standard]

Luxurious cars are among the uncollected fleet of vehicles to face the auctioneer’s hammer in one of the largest sale to be conducted by the taxman in Mombasa County.

High-end vehicles like BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Lexus and Land Rover are among the items listed by the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) for the auction scheduled to take place tomorrow until Thursday.

Hundreds of bidders eying the goods started trickling into the coastal town as early as Saturday for the auction in which KRA expects to collect some Sh200 million that seeks to dispose of 314 cars and assorted goods in 223 containers.

“This will be the biggest auction. It will be transparent and all Kenyans will have an equal chance to participate,” said KRA Southern Region Coordinator Joseph Tonui. 

Last month, KRA conducted another auction that raised Sh50 million in revenue.

On May 21, KRA’s customs and border control department gave the shippers of goods listed for auction a 30-day notice to remove them, failure to which they will be disposed of through an auction.

Under-mentioned goods

“Notice is given that unless the under-mentioned goods are entered and removed within 30 days of this notice, they may be sold by public auction on June 23 and 24, 2021,” it states.

The items to be auctioned were on display on Monday and Tuesday at the Custom Warehouses within the port and designated container freight stations within Mombasa and Nairobi.

They included cars, building materials, books, bicycles, clothes, bags of citric acid and drums containing bitumen used in road construction. Others were household goods such as mattresses and toys, according to an auction notice on the KRA website.

A 30-day notice to cargo owners to collect their goods expired yesterday, but some did not turn up. Some of the goods were destined for the transit market.

In 2018, a similar auction netted a record Sh100 million after Kenyans bought unclaimed goods including vehicles that were destined for South Sudan and Ugandan.

The auction happens at a time when KRA is racing to meet its revenue collection target before the end of this financial year which comes to an end on June 30.

Other than raising revenue, the auction of uncollected cargo is also expected to free storage space at the custom storage facilities in the country to facilitate trade by de-congesting the port.  

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