Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) has enhanced its partnership with cross border traders and strategic stakeholders in a bid to strengthen trading across borders and revenue mobilization.
During the International Customs Day Celebration held at the Busia One Stop Border Post (OSBP) in Busia County, the KRA Commissioner for Customs & Border Control Dr Lilian Nyawanda said that the Customs administration is deliberately working towards a simplified and harmonized customs management framework that will enhance seamless movement of goods and persons across borders.
She said that the role of Customs had evolved from the traditional collection of duties and taxes on imports to taking on economic, social dimensions and promoting legitimate trade and facilitating global supply chains. “We endeavor to build an agile Customs Administration; progressively eliminating tariffs and non-tariff barriers to trade in goods, responsive to the needs of traders, offering timely facilitation and mobilizing adequate revenues for the Government.” She encouraged other players within the global supply chain to partner with Customs to support the trade community by ensuring benefits such as lower transaction costs; prompt custom clearance, custom procedures, and predictability are enjoyed.
The World Customs Organization Director For East & Southern Africa Regional Office for Capacity Building Mr. Larry Liza said that Customs continues to engage local, regional and international trade and business to keep abreast with emerging trends in global trade such as eCommerce, big data, analytics and the changing dynamics of the trade environment. He recognized that the EAC Region is continually evolving and called for more collaboration with more stakeholders, private sector, small and medium traders to leverage the benefits of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement and other regulatory frameworks.
In his remarks, the Deputy Commissioner for Border Control & Enforcement Mr. Chege Macharia said that through OSBPs, KRA had enhanced efficiency in terms of clearance of goods and thereby reduced costs associated with duplication of Customs procedures for countries on either side of the border. He further said that KRA has rolled out the Authorized Economic Operator Program; a framework that expedites movement, release and clearance of goods at ports and border stations, through creation of a partnership between Customs and businesses. Currently, revenue drawn from this framework stands at 32% of all Customs revenue.
Speaking on behalf of the Governor for Busia County, the Deputy Governor H.E. Arthur Odera called on KRA to collaborate with the County Government and other partners to enhance efficiency at the Busia OSBP.
The President of the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce & Industry (KNCCI) Dr. Erick Rutto underscored the importance of public-private partnership to push for mutual recognition of standards within the EAC Region, and implementation of capacity building programs to empower traders with requisite knowledge on various compliance requirements. He called on close collaboration between the Customs Administration and key stakeholders such as KNCCI to promote trading across borders for enhanced revenue mobilization.
Other partners present were Officials from the Uganda Revenue Authority, Busia County Government, Directors from KNCCI, Micro Small & Medium Enterprises, the World Customs Organization and Senior KRA Officials.