Press Center | Freight Shipping Logistics News
Commissioner in charge of marketing and communication Mr Kennedy Onyonyi said yesterday that the programme, currently on pilot, will be fully implemented in June.
“When the programme is fully implemented cargo forwarders will not be required to pay taxes on behalf of importers,” Onyonyi said.
KRA, through a paid up advert in a local daily last week, cautioned importers to pay customs directly to KRA.
“The payment should be made by the banker's cheque only, and should be paid directly by the importers, not their appointed agents,” reads the advert.
Currently, clearing agents pays to the National Bank, which is also linked to the KRA’s automated Simba system.
Mr Onyonyi said the move was necessitated by discovery that some dishonest clearing agents were not submitting tax collected from importers to KRA.
“There are tax payers known to be prompt in paying taxes, but when documents reflect otherwise, our investigations have revealed that the taxes were being held by clearing agents,” he said.
However, Kenya International Freight and Warehousing Asscoiation (Kifwa) vice chairman Peter Mambembe opposed the move, saying that the new directive was another move by the KRA to drive agents from the business.
“The notice which is harsh and punitive is aimed at frustrating importers and customs agents and if implemented, it will cause serious congestion at the port due to delays which will be occassioned by late payment of taxes by importers,” Mambembe said.
But according to Mr Onyonyi, the directive is intended to improve efficiency and save both the importers and KRA from a possible loss of money to unscrupulous agents.
“The cargo forwarders will continue to carry out other cargo clearing processes which they have been licensed to do and the fear of losing business is unfounded,” he added.
KRA has already automated other cargo clearing processes through the Simba and Camis systems which have already been interfaced with Kenya Ports Authority's Kilindini Waterfront Terminal Operating System (Kwatos) that automates all the port’s cargo handling operations.
The interface of the two systems has led to a faster cargo clearance process at the port.
PARASTATAL heads who signed the Mombasa port community charter risk being sacked if their agencies do not deliver on the contents of the new entity. The charter signed between the government and the private sector aims at improving the movement of cargo from the port into hinterland