Cargo clearance at railways hub to start next week

The Kenya Railways Corporation Customs shed at the Nairobi Railway Station.

Photo credit: Francis Nderitu | Nation Media Group

Small-scale traders will from Monday start picking their consignments from the Kenya Railways customs shed after the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) gazetted it for clearance of cargo inbound from the Port of Mombasa through the standard gauge railway.

Cargo destined to the customs shed will be dropped at the Inland Container Depot (ICD) in Embakasi from where it will be ferried to the Nairobi Railway Station.

“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 ICD as this shed will be easily accessible,” said KRA acting Commissioner for Customs and Border Control Pamela Ahago said in a statement.

KRA hopes to ease congestion at the Customs office by hastening clearance of goods as verification will be done on single goods stripped from containers as opposed to the typical verification of a whole container.

Traders will be allowed to clear the goods individually at the Nairobi Railway Station, eliminating the need to use costly clearing agents and the Sh100,000 container deposit.

At the same time, those with goods of Customs value of $10,000 can make import declaration on a mobile app while those with goods of Customs value above $10,000 will clear through a registered clearing agent in the Customs system.

The Boma Line shed, which has a capacity to hold about 100 40-foot containers, was commissioned by President Uhuru Kenyatta last year to facilitate fast clearance of imported goods coming to Nairobi via the SGR.