Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) has stepped up measures to contain smuggling of goods along the Kenya and Uganda border.
The efforts jointly undertaken by Kenya and Uganda target to close in on unscrupulous businessmen who use illegal routes to smuggle goods into the country evading tax.
KRA Malaba One Stop Border Post (OSBP) Manager Kimani Kang’ethe, said the joint patrols have yielded fruits with KRA now collecting 100% revenue at the border.
The measures alongside the establishment of the OSBP which has brought all government bodies in charge of clearance of cargo and people from the two countries under one roof, he added, has seen a growth in revenue from Sh962 million in 2012 to Sh4.2 billion in 2021.
With enhanced surveillance along the border and inland along the Eldoret-Malaba Highway, he said KRA targets to net Sh5 billion by the close of this financial year.
KRA, he added, has embarked on sensitisation of the business community, small scale traders and women engaged in cross border trade on the need to make use of the OSBP.
“We are sensitizing them on the importance of taking advantage of the East African Community (EAC) treaty where they are exempted from paying duty for goods. They only pay Value Added Tax (VAT),” he said.
“We are also working with the Cross Border Women Association to ensure that all their goods pass through the OSBP to net additional revenue,” he added.
Speaking during a tour of the facility by journalists from the western region over the weekend, KRA Western Regional Coordinator Pamela Ahago, said the investment put in the OSBP has reduced the turnaround time for cargo clearance.
The enhanced efficiency, she added, has seen the number of tracks being cleared per day increase from 1, 300 to 2,300.
Plans, she added, were underway to complete the loop road connecting the OSBP to Uganda to enhance free flow of inbound and outbound tracks and vehicles.
A multi-agency government team, she said, has conducted a feasibility study on expansion of the OSBP to enhance its capacity adding that the structural designs were being developed.
Kenya Railways, she added, was in the process of establishing a transit shed at the border to facilitate smooth movement of goods ferried on the revamped Nakuru-Malaba Meter Gauge line.
“This is set to boost our capacity to handle cargo at this OSBP. Once the construction is completed, KRA will deploy staff at the shed to facilitate the exercise,” she said.
By Chris Mahandara