KRA sanctions on cargo clearance at the Mombasa port will only be lifted if importers honestly declare their cargo, Maritime PS Nancy Karigithu said yesterday.
She said unscrupulous traders have prompted KRA to turn into a revenue protection agency when its mandate is collection.
“Sometimes someone says they have imported mattresses, but on the way the cargo changes into high-end vehicles. Are we really helping KRA?” Karigithu asked. She addressed a workshop on the review of the Mombasa Community Port Charter at Serena Hotel, Mombasa.
The charter was signed in June 2014. Some 25 organisations drawn from the government, private sector, civil society and other interest groups are signatories. They include KRA, the Kenya Maritime Authority, the Kenya Ports Authority, the Kenya National Police Service, the Kenya Private Sector Alliance and the Shippers Council of East Africa.
Karigithu said the port community has a role to play to ensure KRA becomes efficient. She urged importers to practise clean business.
She said the KRA has been burdened. “If we can free KRA to do what it’s supposed to do in revenue collection, we’ll begin to see and reap benefits,” Karigithu said.
The 2014 charter was signed in the presence of President Uhuru Kenyatta. It sought to eliminate cargo delays. Karigithu said this has been largely achieved and a new charter will bring more
institutions on board.
She said the African Economic and Social Development Consultancy has reviewed the 2014 charter and submitted a revised draft.
Charter steering committee chair Gilbert Langat said they are focussed on improving port performance. Karigithu said a revised charter will ensure efficient, reliable and globally competitive ports and corridor.
“The mission is to streamline and accelerate efforts to realise the vision of the new charter we expect to open and deliver,” she said.
The government expects efficient clearance, globally competitive and reliable logistic services and quality primary transport infrastructure.
It also targets effective regulatory and policing environment and enhanced automation and innovation.