KRA, clear­ing agents end row over cargo val­u­a­tion for­mula

The two par­ties re­solved to con­tinue us­ing the Kenya Rev­enue Author­ity Eval­u­a­tion for­mula, which mostly re­lies on dec­la­ra­tion and doc­u­ments pre­sented by im­porters

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The Kenya Rev­enue Author­ity and clear­ing agents have agreed on a com­mon cargo val­u­a­tion process. This ends a month-long stale­mate that had slowed the move­ment of cargo at the Port of Mom­basa.

The two par­ties re­solved to con­tinue us­ing the Kenya Rev­enue Author­ity Eval­u­a­tion for­mula, which mostly re­lies on dec­la­ra­tion and doc­u­ments pre­sented by im­porters.

This is op­posed to a new sys­tem it had in­tro­duced last month which led to protests by clear­ing agents.

In a joint pub­lic no­tice yes­ter­day, the tax­man and the Kenya In­ter­na­tional Freight and Ware­hous­ing As­so­ci­a­tion said they will co­op­er­ate to enhance ef­fi­ciency in cargo clear­ance at Kenyan bor­ders.

“This will be achieved through stream­lin­ing of KRA val­u­a­tion dis­pute res­o­lu­tion mech­a­nisms, and the strength­en­ing of cus­toms agents li­cens­ing pro­cesses,” the no­tice signed by KRA com­mis­sioner gen­eral cus­toms and bor­der con­trol Julius Musyoki and Kifwa na­tional chair­man Auni Bhaiji stated.

“Dur­ing a meet­ing held at Times Tower on Novem­ber 10, se­nior of­fi­cials of KRA and Kifwa agreed to co­or­di­nate ac­tions re­lat­ing to val­u­a­tion dis­pute res­o­lu­tion and the vet­ting of cus­toms agents li­cence re­newals, with a view to pro­fes­sion­al­is­ing the in­dus­try,” it added.

The two also agreed to tackle cargo mis-dec­la­ra­tion, which oc­curs through con­ceal­ment and un­der­val­u­a­tion.

Musyoki had ear­lier in­di­cated that the author­ity re­viewed its cargo val­u­a­tion 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 on Novem­ber 7.

The new sys­tem in­volved the use of trans­ac­tion value, val­u­a­tion us­ing iden­ti­cal goods, and trans­ac­tion val- ue of sim­i­lar goods, which Kifwa said in­creased taxes.

The move led to a go-slow by about 1,500 clear­ing agents af­fil­i­ated to Kifwa, who stopped lodg­ing doc­u­ments since Oc­to­ber 31, leav­ing more than 1,000 con­tain­ers at the Port of Mom­basa.

“In this re­gard, Kifwa sup­ports on­go­ing KRA ac­tions aimed at lev­el­ling the play­ing field through en­hanced vig­i­lance on val­ues de­clared to cus­toms as man­dated un­der sec­tion 122, and the Fourth Sched­ule to the East African Com­mu­nity Cus­toms Man­age­ment Act,” yes­ter­day’s state­ment read.

Kifwa na­tional vice chair­man Eric Gi­tonga said clear­ing agents have re­sumed op­er­a­tions.

/ELKANA JA­COB

Un­cleared con­tain­ers at the Port of Mom­basa

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