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New KRA notice on clearance of goods to affect small scale Kenyan importers

Kenyan importers, both large-scale and small-scale, are urged to take note of the recent statement issued by the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA), regarding the clearance of goods imported through consolidation.

The statement, issued by the Acting Commissioner for Customs & Border Control, Pamela Ahago,  has significant implications for cargo timeliness and access to the market.

KRA has reminded all consolidators and importers of the crucial requirement to ensure that their import consignments are cleared within 21 days from the date the goods arrive at the place of discharge, in accordance with Section 34 of the East African Community Customs Management Act, 2004.

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This reminder carries weight for importers of all sizes, as any delays in the clearance process could result in shipment hold-ups and disruptions to the supply chain.

Importers and consolidators who import goods for trade purposes are specifically advised to ensure that their shipping documents are correctly addressed in the importer’s name.

For goods shipped through a cargo consolidator, the importer needs to insist on being issued with a house air waybill or house bill of lading, with the importer’s name clearly stated as the ultimate consignee for their individual consignment. This measure aims to enhance transparency and accuracy in the customs clearance process.

Upon the arrival of consolidated cargo at the place of discharge, it becomes the consolidator’s responsibility to break bulk or de-consolidate the cargo, allowing for individual clearance. This step ensures smoother and more efficient clearance processes, minimizing potential bottlenecks in cargo handling.

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Importers and consolidators are further encouraged to familiarize themselves with the applicable rates of duty and ensure that their customs declarations fully comply with the law.

KRA continuously updates its customs systems to reflect the prevailing duty rates, and importers can access the latest information on duty rates through various gazette notices available on the KRA website.

The timeliness of cargo arrival and clearance holds immense significance for importers, as any delays could disrupt supply chains, lead to additional storage costs, and affect the availability of goods in the market.

To uphold efficient trade facilitation, KRA is committed to engaging and collaborating with stakeholders to address any challenges in the import clearance process and streamline cargo handling at all points of discharge.

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