President Uhuru Kenyatta has directed that containers detained at Embakasi Inland Container Depot (ICD) be released within the next three weeks.
This is following distress calls from traders whose goods had been confiscated.
Speaking on Monday afternoon, after a meeting with involved stakeholders, the president also directed that going forward all consolidators involved in the business be vetted in bid to ensure transparency.
He said some of the challenges experienced were as a result of dishonest consolidators, who were keen on evading mandatory tax requirements.
The President said this amid increased war on counterfeit goods that has overly been criticized by traders.
Earlier, the president made an impromptu visit in the area to inspect containers which had been seized.
The President was accompanied by Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i and PS Karanja Kibicho.
Also present were heads of the multi-agency task force led by Director of Criminal Investigations George Kinoti.
The Monday visit comes weeks after clearing agents staged demos at the deport after being denied entry into Kenya Revenue Authorities (KRA) for unknown reasons.
According to sources who spoke to Kahawa Tungu, KRA officials are only allowing entry to agents who are known to give bribes, while others are locked out.
The agents accuse the head of the bureau Mr Irungu of orchestrating corruption in the facility.
In the recent past, traders have accused customs official at Data Processing Centre, Kilindini Mombasa of frustrating importers and delaying of clearance of goods.
“Documents lodged at the DPC are taking too long to be processed yet the exercise is simple and can take only a few hours. The unnecessary delay is meant to blackmail clients and importers to offer bribes through brokers who pass the loot to senior customs officers,” claimed a clearing agent.
The delays often make importers to dig deeper into their pockets to cater for storage and demurrage costs, a source who sought anonymity revealed to a local media.
“It unnecessarily takes long to verify consignments and release them. They use this delaying tactic to coerce importers to give bribes. Customs officials at Toyo Container Terminal work the way they want including reporting to work at their own time complicating matters,” the source said.