Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) Chief Manager in charge of Port Operations has written to the Managing Director of the Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) ordering for immediate use of container freight station (CFS) for home-use cargo imported through Mombasa port within the next two months.

Under CFS, goods are packed into container(s) at the port of origin and unpacked at the port of destination at the carrier’s risk and expense. Also called pier to pier.

“KPA stoppage of client’s nomination to the CFS starting today and further to the directive to have all Mombasa bound imported home-use cargo cleared at the port in the next two months. We have made logistical and resource allocation which can support clearance of all these containers at the port with immediate effect,” read the letter dated July 2.

The move seems to have been effected to edge out cartels who bring in illegal drugs through the port in the name of home-use cargo.

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On Tuesday, KRA Commissioner-General John Njiraini told the lawmakers that in July 2016, a verification conducted by government agencies on one of the containers imported by Mshale Commodities Ltd — a company registered in Uganda — revealed that substances believed to be narcotic drugs were concealed in the bags of sugar.

“The verification led by anti- narcotics police unit found four unsealed polypropylene bags concealed within the bags of sugar with a substance packaged in block shape suspected to be narcotic drugs,” Mr Njiraini says in the report presented to the MPs.

Under the new directive, the port will require a hundred 20ft containers per day at the port for clearance.

“The purpose of this communication is to request your office to nominate a hundred 20ft containers daily for port clearance with the target of 100% port clearance for 20ft by end of July 2018. Additionally, note that with effect from August 1, all 40ft containers will be brought on board followed by motor vehicles thereafter,” added the letter.

Under the new move, home-use goods imported into the country will be unpacked into new containers upon arrival into the port for verification. This is contrary to the previous norms where goods could be allowed into the country without inspection.

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