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KRA accredits authorised economic operators

Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) has awarded over 300 Authorised Economic Operators (AEOs) with certificates of identification and recognition to boost movement and clearance of goods at ports and border points.

KRA Commissioner of Customs and Border Control Ms. Lilian Nyawanda said the Authority has awarded over 300 AEOs with certificates of identification and recognition that will enable importers and exporters of goods recognize them easily.

She said the accreditation of AEOs will also help to minimise cargo clearance time and the cost related with importing and exporting cargo while guaranteeing safe, secure and legitimate trade.

“KRA is committed to facilitating the expedited processing of AEO cargo for companies that maintain high levels of compliance as they engage in legitimate trade,” said Nyawanda, adding that approximately 30 per cent of custom revenue is collected from AEO accredited importers.

She announced that the Authority anticipates to grow the figure by enhancing trade facilitation for the existing AEOs while expanding the program to include compliant tax payers in other categories such as warehousing and the medium-sized enterprises.

The customs commissioner was speaking on Thursday during the inauguration of an Authorised Economic Operator (AEO) forum hosted by the German Development Cooperation (GIZ) in partnership with Kenya Revenue Authority held at a Nairobi hotel.

The AEOs programme seeks to improve trade facilitation procedures through expedited cargo clearance and simplified export –import procedures.

During the event, accredited AEO companies were awarded with certificates of recognition as part of improving Kenya’s import and export processes to boost trade.

Ms. Nyawanda urged traders currently accepted into the AEO program to be good ambassadors by encouraging tax compliance and assisting in weeding out non-compliant entities in the corporate and trade space.

Speaking at the event, the GIZ Project Lead Ms. Jasmin Gohl affirmed that the German government will continue to support Kenya to enhance her competitiveness in international trade.

“Our goal as the GIZ Alliance for Trade Facilitation Project is to support Kenya in boosting her trade competitiveness through creating a conducive business environment in order to boost economic growth and reduce poverty while creating sustainable employment,” said Gohl.

She pointed out that the idea of providing AEOs with certificates was suggested following wide consultations with KRA to streamline the identification of business operators.

“Businesses under this program are scrutinized significantly at the border compared to other regular cross border traders. This program will boost trade activity in Kenya and create increased opportunities for young job seekers in the labour market,” stated Gohl.

By Edna Okoth

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