Delays in picking up restricted items have seen huge consignments of contrabands including drones and shisha pipes flood customs warehouses at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA).
Lilian Nyawanda, Commissioner for Customs and Border Control at the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA), said many Kenyans imported such items oblivious of the stringent permit conditions before they could be 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 said in e-mailed responses.
A pile-up of the restricted items at the JKIA customs warehouses has now become a source of concern with the taxman giving importers a notice to clear them by the end of September.
The Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Regulations require importers to pay a Sh3,294 fee for bringing in the drones which are increasingly becoming popular for cinematography, mapping on agricultural farms, among other uses.
The Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA) issues Remote Operators Certificate to fly drones in the Kenyan airspace at a cost of about Sh80,000 with an annual renewal fee of about Sh50,000. KRA said items not collected by the end of September will be auctioned or destroyed.
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