The Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) has recently taken steps to enhance its enforcement activities and impose more stringent measures at various entry points. These actions are in line with the provisions outlined in the East African Community Customs Management Act 2004 (EACCMA), which generally exempts passengers’ baggage and personal effects from customs duty, subject to certain conditions specified in the 5th Schedule of the EACCMA. In light of these developments, the KRA has issued a Public Notice on 2 November 2023, titled “Clearance at Passenger Terminal,” which addresses crucial aspects of customs clearance. This move aims to streamline and improve the customs clearance process for passengers.
The EACCMA, which was enacted to facilitate trade within the East African Community (EAC), provides guidelines and regulations for customs management in the region. It seeks to simplify and harmonize customs procedures, reduce barriers to trade, and ensure consistency across EAC member states, including Kenya. By exempting passengers’ baggage and personal effects from customs duty, the EACCMA aims to promote ease of travel and facilitate the movement of goods across borders.
However, it is important to note that these exemptions are subject to specific conditions outlined in the 5th Schedule of the EACCMA. The KRA’s recent enforcement efforts and stricter measures are aimed at ensuring compliance with these conditions and preventing any misuse or abuse of the exemptions. These measures are crucial for maintaining the integrity of the customs system and preventing revenue leakage.
The Public Notice issued by the KRA on 2 November 2023 provides detailed guidance on customs clearance procedures at passenger terminals. It highlights the importance of accurate declaration of goods and the consequences of non-compliance. Passengers are required to declare all goods they are carrying, including those that may be exempt from customs duty. Failure to declare goods or providing false information may result in penalties, seizure of goods, and even legal action.
The KRA has also emphasized the need for passengers to cooperate with customs officials during the clearance process. This includes providing any necessary supporting documents, such as invoices or receipts, to facilitate the smooth and efficient clearance of goods. Additionally, the KRA has urged passengers to familiarize themselves with the specific conditions for exemptions outlined in the 5th Schedule of the EACCMA to avoid any misunderstandings or complications.
It is worth noting that these measures are not meant to discourage legitimate travelers or burden them with unnecessary procedures. Rather, they are aimed at ensuring compliance with customs regulations and preventing any misuse of the exemptions provided under the EACCMA. By strengthening enforcement efforts and implementing stricter measures, the KRA aims to create a level playing field for all traders and promote fair trade practices within the EAC.
In conclusion, the KRA’s recent enforcement efforts and stricter measures at different entry points are part of its ongoing commitment to effective customs management. These measures are in accordance with the provisions of the EACCMA and are aimed at ensuring compliance with customs regulations and preventing revenue leakage. The Public Notice issued by the KRA provides valuable guidance on customs clearance procedures at passenger terminals and emphasizes the importance of accurate declaration of goods. By cooperating with customs officials and familiarizing themselves with the specific conditions for exemptions, passengers can contribute to the smooth and efficient clearance of goods and promote fair trade practices within the EAC.