By: JAMES KARIUKI
A global parcels delivery firm has urged Kenyans to beware of customs charges on items purchased from international online stores ahead of the festive Christmas season.
DHL Express Sub Saharan Africa Vice President Oliver Facey, said while people had embraced e-commerce due to its convenience and huge discounts, many risked incurring additional expenses to clear the items from customs.
The charges, he said, also applied to gifts received at its clearing house at the airport from international locations.
“Do not be caught off-guard when your purchases or gifts are withheld as all shipments entering a country are cleared through customs which then decides on which gift or purchase should be exempted,” he said.
He said that online shoppers should consult the revenue office before importing anything so as to know the amount of fee charged pegged on an item’s purchase price.
Mr Facey added that some parcels originating from certain countries were often inspected by customs officials to mitigate a wide range of risks which eventually led to delays and additional costs.
“Online shopping offers convenience and in many instances cost savings but this can best be enjoyed when consumers understand their local regulations,” he said.
He said that DHL had invested heavily on staff training and extensive infrastructure development which enabled their customers to track parcels online.
“When in doubt as to what additional charges may apply, our DHL team is always ready to support and shed some light,” said Mr Facey.
At the same time, DHL Express Kenya Human Resource Manager Kenneth Kaunda said all its offices and agent outlets had been trained on efficiency and secure handling of all parcels received during the festive season.
Speaking during the Best Company to Work For 2015 Awards ceremony at Hotel Royal Orchids, Mr Kaunda said DHL would ensure delivery of parcels within the shortest time possible but added that legal and security restrictions abounded.
During the awards ceremony, DHL was declared the best medium-sized company to work for.
Mr Kaunda praised DHL’s its 226 employees saying they were behind its efficient and prompt delivery of parcels that helped attract more business.