China-aided scanners boost automation at Kenyan port


China-aided scanners have revolutionized cargo clearance at Kenya's seaport of Mombasa, the largest in East Africa, says a senior Kenyan customs official.

Kenya Revenue Authority on Aug 25 launched China-aided scanners at the port of Mombasa to enhance clearance of containers carrying bulk goods.

"The recent commissioning of three additional scanners donated by China at the port of Mombasa is a major milestone in sealing revenue leakages and in the fight against import and export of prohibited goods," said Julius Musyoki, the Commissioner for Customs and Border Control at Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA), in a commentary published by Daily Nation newspaper.

He added the deployment of scanners donated by China will enable the port of Mombasa to clear in excess of 1,000 container goods daily.

The installation of digital scanning machines at Kenya's sea ports and border posts have enhanced clearance of goods while strengthening the war against trafficking of illegal products like narcotics, ivory and small arms, he said.

Kenya has complied with the World Customs Organization (WCO) requirement to invest in state of the art equipment to enhance clearance of goods at the ports of entry.

Musyoki said investments in modern inspection tools has facilitated smooth flow of goods across borders while tackling security threats like terrorism, poaching and movement of hazardous substances.

"Cargo inspection is a critical aspect in safeguarding the supply chain, security and facilitation of legitimate trade," Musyoki remarked, adding that automation at ports of entry has elevated Kenya's status as a regional trade and logistics hub.