Relief for manufacturers as court suspends tax on beverages, cosmetics



The High Court has temporarily suspended a gazette notice which was to effect imposition of excise stamps on bottled water, juices, soda, other non-alcoholic beverages and cosmetics.

The said goods, whether imported or manufactured locally, were to be affixed with excise stamps as from Wednesday, November 1.

The order was issued this morning by High Court judge John Mativo in a case filed by activist Okiya Omtatah.

Mr Omtatah had sued Treasury Cabinet Secretary, the Kenya Revenue Authority commissioner general and Switzerland-based firm SICPA Securities.

"Pending hearing and determination of this case, a conservatory order suspending the public notice which KRA published in the national press and the media, " the judge said.

The gazette notice was published on October 3.

Extra costs

According to Mr Omtatah, the notice is contrary directions of the Public Investments Committee of the 11th Parliament which suspended implementation of excisable goods management systems by the sued parties pending conclusion of investigations in the National Assembly.

A petition had been filed before the National Assembly in June by the Kenya Private Sector Alliance (Kepsa) hence the matter is still under investigations.

Mr Omtatah argued that the matter is urgent since it exposes manufacturers, importers and consumer to the burden of meeting extra production costs unlawfully.

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