KENYA and Tanzania will from Monday clear the first batch of goods under the Single Customs Territory on a pilot basis, the Kenya Revenue Authority announced yesterday.
The KRA issued a public notice to importers, exporters and clearing agents of the intra-trade and maritime goods whose duty shall now have to be cleared by the customs officials of the country where the goods are destined before they are released from the originating country.
Intra-trade goods include rice, maize, sugar, soap and detergents, cigarettes, edible oils, alcoholic products, steel and iron products.
Those imported through the ports of Mombasa and Dar es Salaam are motor vehicles, electronics and, textiles and fabrics.
Importers of rice, sugar, cigarettes, second-hand clothes and shoes,beverages, alcoholic drinks, dry cell batteries and neutral spirits destined for Uganda through the port of Mombasa shall also be subjected to the SCT procedures.
Petroleum products, neutral spirit, cigarettes and cement are some of the products destined for Uganda that have successfully piloted under the SCT system.
“All documents including export entries and transit entries in respect to the above products that will not have been utilised by midnight of September 14 (Sunday) shall be cancelled,” KRA commissioner of customs services Alice Owuor said in the statement.
The SCT procedures allow traders to make customs declarations electronically that are then processed and released by respective revenue agencies of destination countries before their goods are loaded from point of entry in the country where goods are originating.
The initiative is geared at reversing increasing cases of diversion of goods through dumping and smuggling.
It is also set to increase revenue collections by the destination country and reduce transit period by eliminating unnecessary road blocks along the route thereby slashing costs for traders.
The SCT initiative was signed into law by Presidents Uhuru Kenyatta, Yoweri Museveni of Uganda and Rwanda’s Paul Kagame on October 28 in Kigali with an original effective date of January 1, 2014.
However inadequate capacity in respective revenue agencies’ customs systems to interface with each other, little stakeholder sensitisation and concerns by central corridor members –Tanzania and Burundi – led to postponement to July 1, this year.
Source URL: The Star
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