In its bid to decongest the Mombasa Port, the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) will on Wednesday auction assorted goods that have overstayed and whose owners have failed to pay the required taxes.
Some 243 lots will be sold, according to an October 29 KRA notice in the Kenya Gazette, and the earnings will help the taxman meet its revenue targets for 2021.
“Pursuant to the provisions of section … 42 of the East African Community Customs Management Act, notice is given that unless the undermentioned goods are entered and removed from the custody of the Customs Warehouse Keeper, Kilindini within 30 days of this notice, they may be sold by public auction on 1st December 2021,” the notice said.
KRA invited interested bidders to view the imported goods, which include electronics, cars and household items that have overstayed in customs warehouses in the city.
The goods are at 11 warehouses in Mombasa and bidders were to view them on November 29 and November 30 during office hours ahead of the auction day.
Goods imported for domestic use and those in transit to Uganda, South Sudan and Rwanda are among those gazetted for auctioning.
KRA southern region coordinator Joseph Tonui said Covid-19 protocols will be observed at the auction.
“The auction will be open to all Kenyans and the process will be transparent where we expect to auction goods including cargo meant for transit,” Mr Tonui said.
This is KRA’s fifth auction this year. Many traders importing cargo through the Mombasa port are facing economic difficulties and have failed to clear cargo on time. The agency argues the sale of these goods is meant to decongest the port.
Importers have urged the government to consider giving them more time to clear the goods or offer them special rates during the pandemic period.
KRA auctions goods that have overstayed at warehouses after owners fail to pay taxes or those that have been mis-declared.
But before each auction, the commissioner for customs and border control publishes a notice in the Kenya Gazette. If the goods are not removed within 30 days from the date of the notice, they are assumed to have been abandoned to customs.
Reserve prices are determined by several elements, including customs duty, removal and sale expenses, and port and freight charges. Goods cannot be offered at prices below the reserve price.
In the last auction, KRA collected Sh201,398,000, with Sh138,378,000 from consolidated cargo, Sh27,531,000 from motor vehicle sales and Sh35,489,000 from re-offers.