Editor's Review

"I assure you that you are our partners in the economic transformation of this country; you are stakeholders in this journey." 

The government has directed the Anti-Counterfeit Agency to release Nairobi traders’ goods that were seized at the port of Mombasa over standard verification within two weeks.

The directive was announced on Thursday, March 28 by Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua after chairing a high-level meeting between the traders, Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA), and heads of State regulatory bodies.

Gachagua noted that the goods will be released upon confirmation that they meet the required standards.

The government also reversed the decision on the increment of import duty from Sh2.5 million to Sh3 million on each container after the traders complained that the extra Sh500,000 was not justified and that they were not involved.
File image of DP Rigathi Gachagua addressing the Nairobi business community on Thursday, March 28
DP Gachagua also announced that the Nairobi traders will be issued with a single certificate of conformity and compliance from the Anti-Counterfeit Authority and Kenya Bureau of Standards instead of double inspection of goods by the two State agencies.

"KRA will negotiate with the Kenya Ports Authority and shipping lines on release of the withheld goods. On the withheld containers, the importers will pay the initial agreed duty and, and KRA to expedite clearance of the containers for release to the traders by next week," said Gachagua.

The Deputy President directed the Anti-Counterfeit Authority to act on its officers accused of harassing business persons during inspections in disguise of searching for contraband goods.

Gachagua also mentioned that police officers, who have stayed in one working station for more than three years, are being transferred after the traders said they were harassing and frustrating their businesses.

"I assure you that you are our partners in the economic transformation of this country; you are stakeholders in this journey. We will work hand in hand and help each other. We cannot abandon you. We will create a framework to continue engaging. I will also visit the traders at their places of work to get first-hand information. If there are issues talk to us," said Gachagua.

The Deputy further said that an amendment bill to the Public Procurement and Asset Disposal Act, 2015, which he had sponsored when he was MP for Mathira, will be revived to protect local businesses from unfair competition by foreigners.