Communication Authority Cautions on PSVs Being Used For Courier Services

The Communication Authority of Kenya (CA) has released a public notice, raising concerns about the use of Public Service Vehicles (PSVs) in courier operations without appropriate licensing. It is not clear who the notice targets specifically, as many Kenyans rely on PSVs on a daily basis for cheap and fast delivery of goods across the country, a practice deeply ingrained in the local commerce system.

According to the CA, all courier services, including those potentially offered by PSVs, must be properly licensed under the authority’s regulations. This move aims to curb what has become a widespread practice – sending packages via public transport vehicles, such as buses and matatus. Traditionally, these vehicles ensure quick, same-day delivery at low costs, benefiting from a system that bypasses conventional postal services, which have notably declined in efficiency and popularity over the years.

The necessity of using PSVs for parcel delivery stems from the collapse of official postal services. While POSTA still operates, its utilisation for parcel delivery is minimal compared to the agile and cost-effective methods provided by PSVs and motorcycles. This informal courier system is not only a testament to Kenyan ingenuity in solving logistical challenges but also highlights the gap left by traditional courier services in meeting customer needs for speed and affordability.

Communication Authority Says PSV Courier Services Are Illegal

However, the CA’s recent statements and enforcement threat have not been accompanied by clear guidelines on how operators can comply with these regulations. The focus has rather been on the penalties for non-compliance, which include fines up to KES 300,000 or imprisonment for up to one year, or both.

For businesses and individuals wishing to legalise their courier operations, the CA’s Website says the fee for compliance is KES 30,000 or 0.4% of the turnover from audited accounts, whichever is higher.

The CA’s announcement emphasised the importance of using licensed operators to ensure the safety and security of parcels. It also highlighted the benefits of patronising authorised service providers, including access to official complaints resolution and compensation mechanisms, thereby ensuring a secure and reliable service experience.


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