KRA, Kebs move to curb tax losses, counterfeits

All goods shipped into Kenya will now be inspected at the country of origin as the government moves to eliminate tax losses at Kenya’s entry points and the flow of substandard goods.

A notice issued by the Kenya Bureau of Standards (Kebs) and the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) on Sunday said the move was prompted by cases of cargo mis-declaration and undervaluation.

Previously, there have been two classes of goods those inspected in the country of origin and those that can be inspected at the port of entry to ensure they conform to the set standards.

“We wish to notify the public and importers that the requirement for inspection and issuance of Certificate of Conformity (CoC) has been expanded to cover all imports of finished products,” the notice issued by KRA commissioner-general John Njiraini and Kebs managing director Charles Ongwae said.

“This updated requirement has been found necessary in order to protect the safety and health of Kenyans in addition to securing tax revenues.”
Only a handful of goods will be exempt from this requirement.

These are raw materials for processing into finished products, spare parts for own use by manufacturers and customised machinery not meant for sale.

READ: Reprieve for traders as Kebs defers start date of quality rules

According to regulations issued in 2005, goods that are supposed to be inspected in the country of origin but arrive in Kenya without CoC pay a destination inspection fee of 15 per cent of the Cost, Insurance and Freight value of the goods. 

Two weeks ago, Mr Njiraini said that a lot of key decisions such as those touching on valuation for customs have been left to staff members, which has led to corrupt practices.

Staff at the Mombasa Port, the key entry point for imported goods, have also been accused of taking bribes to allow passage of goods that do not meet standards into the country.