KRA, agents row slows down cargo flow at port

About 1,500 Mom­basa clear­ing agents have been on a go-slow since Oc­to­ber 31 over the KRA’s cargo val­u­a­tion process

The Star (Kenya) - - News Business - WEITERE MWITA @MwitaMartin

The stand­off be­tween the Kenya Rev­enue Author­ity and clear­ing agents over new cargo val­u­a­tion process has slowed move­ment of cargo at the Port of Mom­basa, hit­ting gov­ern­ment rev­enues.

A meet­ing last Fri­day be­tween the com­mis­sioner gen­eral John Nji­raini and the Kenya In­ter­na­tional Freight and Ware­hous­ing As­so­ci­a­tion failed to reach an agree­ment.

About 1,500 clear­ing agents af­fil­i­ated to Kifwa have been on a go-slow since Oc­to­ber 31, a move that has left more than 1,000 containers ly­ing at the Port of Mom­basa. This has led to losses run­ning into more than Sh60 mil­lion. Kifwa yes­ter­day said it is op­ti­mistic the tax­man will re­view the new pro­ce­dure in on­go­ing talks with clear­ing agents.

“We had stopped lodg­ing doc­u­ments since last week. We, how­ever, sat down with the com­mis­sioner gen­eral (John Nji­raini) and agreed on the way for­ward.

We agreed they fol­low the East Africa Com­mu­nity Customs Man­age­ment Act and the World Trade Or­gan­i­sa­tion sched­ule ap­pro­pri­ately,” Kifwa national vice chair­man Eric Gi­tonga told the Star on the phone yes­ter­day.

He said though clear­ing agents have not fully re­sumed duty “there is san­ity”.

Last Tues­day, KRA com­mis­sioner for customs and border con­trol Julius Musyoki said the author­ity re­viewed its cargo val­u­a­tion process to curb tax cheats. “Im­porters have ma­nip­u­lated KRA sys­tems which has led to an in­crease in un­der­val­u­a­tion, mis-dec­la­ra­tion and con­ceal­ment of im­ported goods, in­clud­ing fal­si­fi­ca­tion of im­por­ta­tion doc­u­ments,” Musyoki told jour­nal­ists in Nairobi.

The new sys­tem in­volves the use of trans­ac­tion value, val­u­a­tion us­ing iden­ti­cal goods, and trans­ac­tion value of sim­i­lar goods. It re­places the old Kenya Rev­enue Author­ity Eval­u­a­tion For­mula, which mostly re­lied on dec­la­ra­tion and doc­u­ments pre­sented by im­porters, which Kifwa prefers.

“There is no way you will buy some­thing at $1,000 (Sh101,758) then told to pay $5,000 (Sh508,790). Peo­ple want to pay taxes but we must have the right sys­tems,” Gi­tonga said.

Sources said an agree­ment to re­vert to the old sys­tem has been put on hold.


Im­ported cars at the Port of Mom­basa on April 30

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