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KRA defends closure of Hassan Joho’s container freight stations

COUNTIES
By Judy Nguta | January 30th 2016

Nairobi: The Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) has come out to explain the closure of two Container Freight Stations (CFSs) at the Port of Mombasa.

KRA Commissioner General John Njiraini Saturday explained that the closure was part of its ongoing initiative to streamline operations of Container Freight Stations.

“Suspension of licenses for Customs Bonded Facilities is an action routinely used to enforce compliance with Customs requirements,” said Njiraini in a statement.

Contrary to claims that no explanation was given for the closure, Njiraini said the grounds for the actions taken were provided in the letters communicating the decision and signed by the Commissioner of Customs and Border Control.

“KRA may not publicly discuss the reasons for the actions taken, as this would contravene the rules prohibiting disclosure of information on matters touching on the tax affairs of any person,” he said.

Workers at the two firms Friday protested the closure which threatens to render them jobless.

The closure of Autoport and Portside Container Freight Stations belonging to Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho elicited mixed reactions from the political divide.

CORD leader Raila Odinga termed the move harassment of Governors aligned to the Opposition.

State House in response said President Uhuru Kenyatta had nothing to do with the closure, adding that businesses are regulated by institutions recognised by the institution and the law.

“Further actions will be taken in respect of CFS installations found, through the ongoing investigations, to be in breach by engaging in transit diversion, smuggling and other fraudulent practices,” said Njiraini.

He said the process to implement the new requirements commenced in January 2016, with the objective to conclude re-vetting of the facilities by March 2016.

“The results of the exercise may lead to various outcomes, including suspension of the licenses of non-conforming CFSs, where breaches committed are of a serious enough nature to warrant such action” said Njiraini.

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