Key investments by the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) in cargo scanning technology and the implementation of the high-tech mobile scanner at the Namanga border have helped curb fraudulent activities.
These include diversion, misdeclaration and illicit trade. The move has also boosted revenue collection at the border point.
Officials at the Kenya-Tanzania border said the new technology ensures real-time cargo scanning and analysis. “Our revenue has been on a steady rise, almost doubling over the last two years,” said Sally Serem, the customs and border control manager at the Namanga border.
She observed a pool of image technologists are at hand to analyse all scanned images and provide intelligence on any anomalies to the verification officers. Last year, the station intercepted 20,000 litres of ethanol declared as potatoes, valued at more than Sh6.1 million.
In the first five days of this month, she said the station had processed and cleared over 20 Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) trucks, adding LPG does not attract any duties or taxes on importation.
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However, some levies apply, especially to non-East African Community cargo. Cargo clearance has embraced a multi-agency approach that entails collaboration among State agencies, including Kenya Bureau of Standards, police, Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Services among others in joint verification of cargo.
Serem spoke at the border-post where it was revealed the push for a larger market share has seen some traders resort to misinformation to push out some players.
More than 90 per cent of LPG imports are processed at Mombasa port. LPG imports through Namanga via trucks from Mozambique and Tanzania accounts for 10 per cent of all LPG imports.