Importers of a surfeit of regulated goods lying at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) custom stores have been given a one-month ultimatum to collect the items.
The Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) in a notice on Wednesday warned that the goods among them, drones, sex toys, and shisha pipes will be auctioned or destroyed if the owners fail to collect them by September 30th.
KRA Commissioner for Customs and Border Control Lilian Nyawanda said the delayed collection of the imports have congested custom warehouses at the airport.
“The warehouse has very limited capacity owing to the slow rate at which permits are issued for restricted items such as drones or frequency at which destructions are conducted for prohibited imports,” Nyawanda said.
Nyawanda indicated that most of the importers sourced the goods abroad without the knowledge of the strict permit conditions before they are allowed into the market.
“Most passengers are unknowledgeable or un-informed on prohibitions of goods such as shisha and sex toys and restrictions imposed on goods such as drones and firearms,” she added.
For example, importers of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) are required to pay a fee of $30 (Sh3,294) for bringing in the drones and acquire a Remote Operators Certificate to fly the drones in Kenya from the Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA) for Sh80,000 with an annual renewal fee of Sh50,000.
Drone operators must also obtain an airworthiness certificate for $50 (Sh5,490) in addition to other fees.
KCAA director-general Gilbert Kibe said most drones are lying at JKIA because their importers have failed to register them.