More than 7,500 small scale traders in Nairobi and the environs will now find it easier to collect their goods from the Kenya Railways Corporation (Boma Line) transit shed after the government gazetted the facility to deconsolidate cargo.
In a bid to facilitate easy and faster clearance of cargo, the Government of Kenya, through the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) has gazetted various facilities to be used for deconsolidation and clearance of cargo imported by Small Scale traders.
All cargo consolidated at the countries of export, will, upon importation into the country be deconsolidated at facilities designated for that purpose. Effective Monday, February 8, 2021, all consolidated cargo imported by sea and transported to Nairobi through the Standard Gauge Railway, will be deconsolidated, cleared, and collected by the owners at the Kenya Railways Corporation (Boma Line) Transit Shed.
“The shed, also known as ‘Boma line’ has been set up as part of government efforts to facilitate and enhance ease of doing business. The facility will also reduce the cost of doing business for small traders. The facility will serve traders in Nairobi and its environs while facilitating easy access of their goods,” said Mrs Pamela Ahago, the Acting Commissioner, Customs & Border Control.
Cargo designated for other parts of the country will be deconsolidated at the other designated facilities. The owners of the consignment will collect their cargo from the deconsolidated centres.
The small traders will now not pay the USD1000 (Ksh100,000) as container deposits which will subsequently reduce the cost of doing business.
“Establishment of the ‘Boma Line’ is part of initiatives to bring services closer to taxpayers and facilitate them to conduct their business effectively and efficiently. For instance, going forward traders from far areas such as Nanyuki and Sagana will no longer incur huge transport costs to ferry their goods from ICDN (Inland Container Deport Nairobi) as this shade will be easily accessible,” added Mrs Ahago.
Cargo for the SMEs will be transported from Kilindini Port to ICDN, Embakasi, and later transshipped to the Transit Shed using Metre Gauge Railway (MGR). At the shed, consolidated cargo will be stripped from containers and stored in Customs shed while being arranged according to their nature with marking for easy tracking and identification.
The verification by Customs officers and other Government agencies will be done on these specific single goods as opposed to the typical verification of a whole container.
Traders with goods of Customs value of USD 10,000 (Ksh1 million) or less will now be allowed to make an import declaration on a simplified Mobile App or a direct assessment entry, while those with goods of Customs value above USD 10,000 will clear through a registered clearing agent in the Customs system.
The Transit Shed is expected to serve approximately 7,500 small traders in Nairobi and its environs and will accommodate approximately 100-40 foot containers per month raking in an approximate revenue of Ksh110 million.
The number of containers being cleared at the facility is later expected to increase to approximately 300 containers per month during the post-Covid-19 period. This will enable the country to collect revenue of approximately Ksh1 billion.
The shed is expected to operate on a 24 hours basis during the post-Covid-19 period.
“Importers, cargo consolidators and their clearing agents are required to fully comply and provide correct information to Customs to avoid the contravention of Sections 203 (a) and (b) of the East African Customs Management Act (EACCMA) 2004 that makes it an offence to make a false declaration of any kind,” added Mrs Ahago.
This project is a joint initiative between KRA and KRC following the launch of a Container Freight Station (CFS) by President Uhuru Kenyatta at the KRC Transit shed, Nairobi in November 2020.