Shipping & Logistics

Kifwa refutes claims 20 clearing agents suspended

kifwa

Hundreds of containers with cargo remain piled up at the Port of Mombasa on March 2, 2021. PHOTO | WACHIRA MWANGI | NMG

Summary

  • Last week, KRA deputy commissioner for revenue Joseph Kiago Kaguru, Kaguru flagged the operations of 20 clearing and forwarding agents based at the Port of Mombasa for non-compliance after several risk analyses.
  • The companies include Regal Freighters, Delta Express, Subukia Holdings, Greentop Logistics, Zanaa Freights, Riam Logistics and Utmost Freight Matters Limited.
  • The taxman has in the past two years also been seeking details of suppliers and contractors hired by county governments.

The Kenya International Freight and Warehouse Association (Kifwa) has refuted claims that more than 20 clearing and forwarding agents have been suspended by the government for non-compliance.

Kifwa Chairman Roy Mwanthi said the association is not opposed to the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) move as it is meant to bring transparency and enhance compliance in the sector.

“What KRA is doing is enhancing compliance but at the moment no agent has been suspended,” said Mr Mwanthi.

Last week, KRA deputy commissioner for revenue Joseph Kiago Kaguru, Kaguru flagged the operations of 20 clearing and forwarding agents based at the Port of Mombasa for non-compliance after several risk analyses.

In a notice to the public, Mr Kaguru named a number of clearing and forwarding agents which are being scrutinised for allegedly not complying with set operations standards.

The companies include Regal Freighters, Delta Express, Subukia Holdings, Greentop Logistics, Zanaa Freights, Riam Logistics and Utmost Freight Matters Limited.

Others are Ozone Freight Forwarders Limited, Adelcus Agencies, Wiljones Logistics, Venues Kenya Limited and Neline Shipping and Logistics Enterprises.

“The attached list of 20 clearing agents have been found to have compliance issues, after several risk analysis. All consignments declared by the clearing agents in the list to be considered as high risk,” said Mr Kaguru in the letter.

Immediate former Kifwa chairman William Ojonyo said KRA should conduct broad consultation before making such a move.

“There should be more consultation before we take actions such as red listing firms in the clearing and forwarding business. It amounts to punishment to agents and importers,” said Mr Ojonyo yesterday.

Mr Ojonyo said it was wrong for KRA to issue a blanket ban on clearing agents based at the Port of Mombasa without putting any responsibility to KRA officials manning the port for any breaches.

“KRA should put to task its officials manning the Port of Mombasa to safeguard any loopholes. The end result of this ban is that we are not going to be competitive with other ports in East Africa,” he said.

KRA has been intensifying its crackdown on tax cheats using various databases, including bank statements, import records, motor vehicle registration details, Kenya Power records, water bills and data from the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority, which reveals individuals who own assets such as aircraft.

The taxman has in the past two years also been seeking details of suppliers and contractors hired by county governments. This followed a steep increase in imports of the luxury goods and multi-million-shilling investments in real estate—an indication that some crooks could be evading payment of tax.

KRA started the new financial year on an upward trajectory after surpassing its July-September 2021 target of Sh461.6 billion by Sh15 billion, representing a 30 percent growth.

Cumulatively, the KRA collected Sh631 billion between July and October 2021 against a target of Sh603.9 billion, translating to a performance rate of 104.5 percent, a growth of 28.3 percent and a surplus of Sh27 billion.