Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) has urged traders to avoid engaging in smuggling of Goods at the Kenya Tanzanian Border and instead comply with the law by using official border points.
The taxman encouraged traders to use the official border points like One Stop Border Points (OSBPs) where Customs officials are ready to assist them by expediting the clearance of their goods.
Speaking during an event to mark the Customer Service Week at the Lunga Lunga One Stop Border Post to appreciate KRA Customers and which doubled up as a sensitization forum on the operations of Customs at the Border, the Lunga Lunga OSBP Deputy Station Manager, Anthony Namboka said the role of Customs is to make it simple for traders to either import or export their Goods and not to frustrate trade.
He informed participants at the sensitization forum attended by Clearing and forwarding agents, transporters, importers and other stakeholders that those who import goods from Tanzania and other East Africa community member states are exempted from paying import duty as long as they produce a certificate of origin to confirm where they imported the goods.
The Deputy Station Manager, said the Authority is also keen to empower small scale traders asking those who deal with importation of cereals from EAC member states to obtain simplified certificates of origin from the source of the imports to be facilitated to move the produce.
Namboka said importation and exportation along the border is simple and there is no need for traders to use panya routes which may be more costly for them when they are found to be on the wrong side of the law.
The participants were however informed that those who import excusable goods like Juices, Water, beverages are liable to pay excise duty.
Stakeholders at the forum appreciated the decision by KRA to educate and sensitize them on requirements needed for them to be compliant and enable them to do their business legally.
During the event passengers, motorists and traders using the border were caught by surprise when the Tax man appreciated them with giveaways. Many said they were amazed that the face of the tax man had become friendly.
By Joseph Kamolo