Goods Kenyans Are Smuggling to Beat High Taxes

Goods Kenyans Are Smuggling to Beat High Taxes

Goods Kenyans Are Smuggling to Beat High Taxes

Kenyan traders are now using unusual strategies, such as smuggling items via the  Ethiopian border, to maintain their businesses because of the unfavorable business  climate in the nation. The majority of the products being smuggled past the border, according to a study  by the international journal BNN, include fuel, alcohol, and cigarettes.

Border towns along the Kenya-Ethiopia border are growing as a result of the region’s burgeoning black market, which allows for the sale of smuggled goods at drastically discounted costs. The low-cost products are arriving in Nairobi, offering consumers more economical options yet robbing the government of much-needed funds.

While it has been noted that Kenya’s high taxes  are  a major component in the  smuggling trade, the absence of robust  commercial  relations between the two  nations has also been mentioned as a factor  leading  to the growth of the black  market trade. It is important to note that while Ethiopia and  Kenya  do not have free trade  agreements, Kenya does with the East African  Communities (EAC).

Due to the absence of clear tariffs between Kenya and Ethiopia, it is difficult for  traders to legitimately export goods to Kenya. The vast porous border has been the preferred option for traders due to the  administrative challenges at official border crossing locations, making it easier to  smuggle high-demand commodities into the Kenyan market. The Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) has stepped up efforts to stop this illegal  activity in response. Border smuggling continues to be a problem, as evidenced by the KEBS officials’  seizure of smuggled products from Eastleigh Market in August that were valued at  millions of dollars.

An official from KEBS then said, “They (the goods) are coming through porous borders and we have increased surveillance as the products are harmful to people.” Petrol retailed for Ksh211 in September in Kenya, where prices have been rising gradually every month. Due to this, Kenyans are now compelled to look for less expensive options, including as smuggling and LPG automobile conversions.

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