The Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) has issued a stern warning to unauthorized matatus and e-commerce firms providing courier services, citing penalties of up to Sh300,000 and possible imprisonment under Section 49 of the Kenya Information and Communications Act.

In a public notice released on Tuesday, the CA highlighted the increasing prevalence of unlicensed operators in the sector.

"It has come to the attention of the Authority that a number of unauthorized public service vehicles, saccos and e-commerce players are offering courier services without obtaining the requisite license from the authority," stated the regulator.

The CA emphasized the importance of engaging licensed postal and courier operators to ensure the safety of items and mitigate risks associated with unauthorized service providers.

Furthermore, it urged the public to verify the validity of courier service providers by requesting to view a valid compliance certificate issued by the Authority.

As part of its regulatory mandate, the CA plays a critical role in facilitating domestic and cross-border e-commerce activities by licensing courier providers for the transportation and delivery of packages.

According to the Authority's data as of January 2023, a total of 261 international postal and courier operators had been licensed, in addition to the postal corporation of Kenya, designated as the lone public postal operator.

The demand for courier services experienced a significant surge during the Covid-19 pandemic, driven by households and businesses transitioning to e-commerce platforms.

As such, the CA's efforts aim to uphold regulatory standards and ensure the integrity and security of courier services in Kenya.