The Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) will now require importers and shipping lines to make full disclosure of import cargo owner's details as it tightens grip in war on illicit goods.
In a joint notice published in the dailies, KRA and Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) said effective November 30, no imported goods will be allowed into the country without the consignee’s details -- a mobile telephone contact, email address and a tax/personal identification number.
“In cases where the consignee is ‘to the order’, the notifying party or bank is the contact entity, the same contact details should be included,” said the notice.
Clearance of imports has faced hurdles in the past year, with confusion on where the imported cargo to be cleared -- at the Mombasa port or at the Nairobi Inland Container Depot.
The notice said each cargo’s bill of lading and the manifest must have full details as a pre-requisite for approval by KRA.
This follows rising importer complaints that they were losing Sh70 million daily in delayed cargo clearance coupled with extra costs on storage and demurrage charges.
The notice said shipping lines, through their association, must advise their customers on the need for full disclosure to facilitate cargo discharge from ships to clearance from the depots.
Some containers imported into the country owned by Mombasa-based manufacturers are being held at Nairobi Inland Container Depot with the customs department threatening to dispose them via auction for non-collection.
But importers have blamed KPA and KRA for moving their cargo before contacting them upon arrival of their cargo.
Early disclosure could help deter importation of illicit cargo that is usually mis-declared and ‘sneaked’ into the market via dubious means.