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Kenya Bureau of Standards to inspect petroleum imports to seal revenue leaks

By Graham Kajilwa | December 29th 2015


Businesses dealing in the importation and exportation of petroleum products in Kenya are set to be subjected to more scrutiny by the Government.


Under new rules, the Kenya Bureau of Standards (Kebs) will carry out inspection of petroleum products, expanding its mandate from the current random checks done at the service stations. This is in a bid to enhance compliance in terms of taxation and standards set by the respective government agencies.

In a notice published Sunday, Kebs said petroleum products shipped on or after January 15, 2016 shall be subject to inspection both at source and on arrival by Kebs' appointed surveyors.

“Bulk petroleum products, specifically fuels, are some of the commodities targeted for inspection for quality at both source and on arrival into the country,” read the notice.

In this regard, Kebs has come up with a Petroleum Products Inspection Operations Manual that will act as a guideline in carrying out the inspection.  “The manual defines the role of all stakeholders and quality requirements for each category of petroleum products.”

The surveyors will inspect tanks prior to loading to determine if they meet the requirements for cargo to be loaded by verifying the products loading as per the last voyage.

They will also be sampling and analysing products to be loaded or discharged with a view to determining compliance to Kenya Standards or approved specification.

Oil Marketing Companies (OMC) are expected to nominate load port and discharge port surveyors from a panel surveyors contracted by Kebs. This is apart from notifying Kebs of attendance for pre-discharge sampling at disport.

In its capacity, the taxman will only allow discharge of petroleum products meeting the requirements of the relevant Kenya Standards or approved specifications as advised by Kebs.

The outturns report issued by the surveyors will be the determinant of duty payable by the OMC. Currently, Kebs is still carrying out inspections at the service stations which cannot clearly guarantee quality of the products.

In 2013, Kenya Revenue Authority revealed rogue merchants who were said to be mixing motor fuels and petroleum to increase volumes of their income, which shortens the lifespan of vehicles. This was apart from the merchants selling products destined for export in the country to avoid taxes.

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