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KRA urged to link up cargo clearing system with landlocked countries

CARTOON
By | January 24th 2011

By PATRICK BEJA

Clearing and forwarding stakeholders have urged Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) to link up its electronic cargo clearance system with others in landlocked countries to ease the flow of transit goods through the Port of Mombasa.

A group of agents said the Simba System should be connected with other platforms in East and Central Africa to monitor transit cargo and share information.

In a statement, Peter Mambembe, Vincent Mwachiro, Peter Kanyama and Jairus Musyoka told KRA to embrace information sharing to ease the cancellation of security bonds for transit cargo.

"KRA should merge its online systems with other revenue authorities among other East African Community States to streamline and monitor the clearing of transit goods," they said.

Waste of tax

The introduction of online tax payment through the Simba System, they said, was meant to reduce human contact and corruption, but the system would be irrelevant and a waste of taxpayers’ money if it could not cancel bonds online or share information with other systems of the landlocked countries.

Mambembe said a recent tough regulation by KRA to curb illegal diversion of transit goods to the local market was welcome, but was not made in good business consideration.

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"The rules that require Kenyan clearing agents to show evidence of duty receipt from Uganda or Tanzania revenue authorities that importers from landlocked regions have paid taxes for cargo which has crossed our borders is not a bad idea, but is punitive and time wasting," Mambembe said.

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