Commodities

Window opens for speedy clearance of coffee, tea exports

coffee2
BDgeneric_logo

Summary

  • Direct tea and coffee exporters have got a boost after the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) cut off a strenuous tax compliance verification process at the Mombasa port, the Sameer Park and the inland container depot in Nairobi.
  • The taxman said consignments of tea and coffee for shipment abroad are now handled through a fast tracked customs clearance known as Green Channel, which is reserved for low risk export items.

Direct tea and coffee exporters have got a boost after the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) cut off a strenuous tax compliance verification process at the Mombasa port, the Sameer Park and the inland container depot in Nairobi.

The taxman said consignments of tea and coffee for shipment abroad are now handled through a fast tracked customs clearance known as Green Channel, which is reserved for low risk export items.

“This has led to reduction in clearance bottle-necks and facilitated faster export and import processing” KRA said.

Previously, tea and coffee exports were subject to lengthy verification channels which involved tax compliance checks by multiple officers.

The expedited clearance comes barely six months after KRA lifted a requirement that its customs officers be present during stuffing of direct exports of tea, coffee, spices and herbs through the port of Mombasa.

“The officers no longer witness the stuffing of these direct exports. Exports cleared under this reform are scanned upon entry at the port. The exporters and clearing agents are responsible and accountable for the accuracy of the declarations, and compliance to customs and relevant laws on clearing of the exports” the taxman said.

Tea and coffee are important foreign exchange earners for Kenya and support thousands of jobs and households.

Kenya’s tea export earnings jumped 15 per cent in 2020 to Sh130.25billion compared to the previous year’s Sh113.45 billion on improved volumes, data by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics(KNBS) showed.

The volume of tea exported from Kenya in 2020 rose by 21 percent to 575.3 million kilogrammes, from 474.9 million kilogrammes exported the previous year.

Coffee exports earned the country Sh23.63 billion in 2020, as per data by the Central Bank of Kenya, up from Sh22.43 billion in 2019.

Kenya has one of the best coffees in the world, highly sought by roasters for blending with lower quality beans from other regions.