A standoff is brewing between the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) and clearing agents over a proposal by the Kenya International Freight and Warehousing Association (Kifwa) requesting for the revocation of over 200 licenses issued to the clearing agents.
In a leaked secrete letter dated November 10, 2016, Kifwa national chairman Aunu Bhaiji wrote to the KRA Commissioner General John Njiraini and commissioner in charge of Customs and Border Control Julius Musyoki requesting immediate revocation of agents clearing licenses over alleged non-compliance with association’s requirements.
“We are therefore requesting you to issue a notice of suspension for these agents to comply with this requirement as we find it strange that licenses were issued to them in the first place.” The letter dated October 19, 2016 reference number KIFWA/ATBK/19/10/16 reads in part.
Auni argues the agents, most which are small and Medium Enterprises, SMES, are yet to conform to requirements of the association for a Sh10, 000 clearance fee for the renewal of their 2017 license a move that has been challenged in court.
According to court documents , Keynote Logistics Ltd and 41 others obtained an order on October 14, 2016 against Auni, Eric Omondi and Philip Arunga for an inter parties hearing later in the month.
In the certificate of urgency filed through Ojienda and company advocates the plaintiffs argue that the defendants have illegally imposed a penalty of Sh10, 000 on top of the annual member’s subscription without annual general meeting resolution and contrary to the members governing constitution.
This week, Kifwa are planning a consultative meeting to deliberate the on goings in the association with view to finding a lasting g solution.
This comes in the wake of an ongoing go slow on a new cargo valuation process which has slowed movement of cargo at the Port of Mombasa, hitting government revenues.
Barely a fortnight ago,a meeting between the Commissioner General John Njiraini and the Kenya International Freight and Warehousing Association failed to reach an agreement.
About 1,500 clearing agents affiliated to Kifwa have been on a go-slow since October, a move that has left more than 1,000 containers lying at the Port of Mombasa. This has led to losses on import duty running into more than Sh60 million.
KRA’s Customs and Border Control department headed by Julius Musyoki has reviewed its cargo valuation process to curb tax cheats.