Many Kenyan traders have over the years evaded paying import duty tax by importing goods from China and Dubai via logistics cartels based in Eastleigh. Be warned that such activity is illegal and this article in no way condones this vice. Tax evasion in Kenya is a serious offence with dire implications.
How it is Done
- Traders travel to Dubai or China and purchase goods. Prior to purchasing goods, they seek the services of a Somali clearing and forwarding agent. They then make inquiries on how they can export the goods back to Kenya without going through customs. Most Somali clearing and forwarding agents in Dubai and China have this information at hand and the 'customer' is usually directed to the right person to speak to if the agent is unable to make such arrangements personally.
- After purchasing the goods, they make a call to the 'point man' who arrives to collect the goods. The customer is given a reference/code number which they will use to collect the goods in Eastleigh. Payment can done upon collection in Eastleigh or upon placing the order depending on the agreement. Freight charges are normally on a per kilo basis ranging from KES 280 to KES 350 per kilo. Most cargo is sent to Eldoret Airport via charter flights before being transported to Nairobi on road. Prior to Kenya's invasion of Somalia, Kismayo port was also a point of entry for such goods which would then be transported to Eastleigh by road.
- The customer travels back to Nairobi and awaits a phone call. Within a few days, they receive a phone call instructing them that their cargo has arrived and how they collect it. The customer travels to Eastleigh and collects the goods without paying any duties to Kenya Revenue Authority.
- In some cases, customers do not even need to travel to Dubai or China, they simply order goods online or use brokers based in Eastleigh.
- The Kenya Revenue authority is aware of this illegal trade and is working on apprehending the individuals involved.
How to send goods to Kenya from UK.