Kenya: Shisha, Sex Toys and Drones Top List of Commonly Intercepted Goods at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport

Nairobi — Shisha, drones, whitening creams, and sex toys are the most commonly intercepted goods at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA).

The Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) border control enforcement unit at JKIA told journalists during a passenger terminal visit that the reason for these interceptions is that the goods are either prohibited or restricted.

Gakii Ruthiaren, KRA Customs Enforcement Manager at JKIA, explained that the enforcement of prohibited and restricted goods is under the East African community customs management regulations 2010.

“The law clearly stipulates all prohibited and restricted goods, our part is to enforce it at the entry point to ensure the safety of Kenyans,” she said.

Shisha, whitening creams and sex toys are prohibited goods in Kenya, meaning they are not allowed into the country.

Prohibited items intercepted at the entry point can’t be returned.

Drones, on the other hand, are categorized as restricted goods, requiring those who bring them into the country to obtain a permit from the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA).

The Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Regulations also require importers to pay a fee of $30 (Sh3,535) for bringing in the drones which are increasingly becoming popular for filming among other uses.

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.

Drone operators further require airworthiness certificates for $50 (about Sh5,490) in addition to other fees such as “Beyond Visual line of sight” and “Radiotelephone exam”.

Other common restricted goods include guns, bulletproof vests and pharmaceuticals. Persons entering Kenya with these items need a permit from relevant authorities.

KRA said persons visiting the country can reclaim restricted items seized by its agents while departing from the Customs Office.

The terminal visit was planned amid increased interceptions of prohibited and restricted goods through the KRA border control enforcement function.

This means most visitors coming into the country or Kenyans who traveled abroad and are returning, are oblivious of the stringent permit conditions on some items entering the market.

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