Press Center | Freight Shipping Logistics News
The failure by the Commissioner Generals of the Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda Revenue Authorities to provide answers to questions surrounding the new system could jeopardise President Kenyatta’s plan to cut the time it takes to transport goods from the port of Mombasa to the border point to a maximum five days.
In a meeting with Mr John Njiraini, Ms Allen Kagina and Mr Ben Kagarama, the commissioner generals of the Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda revenue authorities respectively, the Kenya International Freight and Warehousing Association opposed the proposed system saying it would lead to loss of business for more than 700 Kenyan companies clearing goods to Uganda and Rwanda.
“The system was created in a hurry and would hurt the Kenyan economy greatly through a massive loss of revenue, jobs and businesses,” said Kifwa national chairman Boaz Makomere.
“There will be loss of source of income for nearly 1 million Kenyans eking a living from small businesses along the corridor and at the border stations.”
The freighters want the implementation of the Single Customs Territory suspended until there is an appropriate legal framework and all stakeholders brought on board.
The Single Customs Territory was announced in a joint communiqué following tripartite talks among the heads of State of Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda held at Entebbe in June.
The three presidents agreed that the collection of customs duties for goods destined for landlocked countries and warehouses be charged from Mombasa port.
The proposed system would require customs and clearing agents of the partner countries to be based in Mombasa.
The movement of goods for warehousing in Uganda will be done under an insurance bond security.
But Kifwa now says Kenyan transporters will lose business while 500,000 Kenyans employed directly in the transit trade and transport service sector will lose jobs.
The freighters said security bonds to local insurance companies will also be lost.
While admitting that some jobs would be lost in the new structure, the three taxmen urged the freight agencies and the general public to support the programme saying its benefits would outweigh the losses.
They promised to engage with private sector associations, government and clearing agents to harmonise operational logistics and procedures.
The roadmap will be implemented by joint technical committees on ICT, Business Process, Enforcement, Change Management, Legal and Human Resource.
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