Kenya: Thai Incident Causes Kenya to Revisit Tea Scanning


East African Business Week (Kampala)

Date Published
Mombasa — Authorities have suspended an arrangement where tea exports through Mombasa port went un-scanned.
This follows the recent impounding in Thailand, of a container loaded with elephant tusks but marked as tea.
The East African Tea Trade Association Managing Director, Edward Mudibo said the arrangement had been in place for five years to quicken deliveries of tea to export markets. “A customs official is always present at the time of loading so scanning would be a duplicate process. We had agreed that the presence of customs officers at warehouses was enough, but it seems some people were taking advantage to smuggle illegal commodities,” he said.
Last week, Kenya Revenue Authority said scanning will resume, but assured traders that there would be no delays after system breakdowns the previous week, Mudibo said. Thai customs officials say the tusks were bound for Laos.