Roll-out of new KRA customs system set for June

KRA Commissioner for Customs and Border Control Julius Musyoki

Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) will replace the obsolete Simba System with a modern integrated customs management system to curb tax evasion by June.

KRA said yesterday the Simba System, used in the clearing of imports by custom agents, was no longer tenable as it has glaring loopholes that rogue agents exploit to evade paying duty.

KRA Commissioner for Customs and Border Control Julius Musyoki said in Mombasa the system also experiences prolonged downtime, leading to delay in movement of cargo from the port of Mombasa.

“Implementation of the new integrated customs system will start at the end of next month, when we will do the piloting before commissioning it in June,” said Mr Musyoki during a meeting on capacity building for the East and Southern Africa region sponsored by the World Customs Organisation.

He said the new system, whose implementation is being financed through a Sh1.1 billion financing from the Government and TradeMark East Africa, will be fitted with special features to carry out automated evaluation of the value of cargo to help address the perennial challenge of cargo under-valuation.

Other benefits of the new system include being able to integrate to the Regional Electronic Cargo Tracking Platform.

The platform, which has already been agreed by Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda, will use one system that enables all countries to monitor the movement of cargo from the Mombasa Port to its final destination.

“This approach will eliminate the opportunities presently exploited by tax evaders at the changeovers of seals at boarder points by having only one common seal and joint enforcement teams to police transit cargo operations,” said Mr Musyoki.

Movement of goods

Widespread abuse of the Simba System has been blamed for loss of revenue, with some experts putting the figure lost annually at more than Sh68 billion.

WCO pledged to increase technical assistance in speeding up movement of goods by incorporating agencies such as KRA into its ICT network.

The organisation’s Secretary General Kunio Mikuriya said implementation of the World Trade Organisation’s trade facilitation agreement will start this week as more countries are expected to ratify it.