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Port operations to be paralysed as customs agents strike


 

Operations at the Port of Mombasa are likely to be disrupted after clearing agents began a strike Friday to protest non-renewal of their licences by the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA).

Kenya International Freight and Warehousing Association’s (Kifwa) 1,350 members have been on a go-slow leading to a 30 per cent drop in cargo uptake from the port.

Speaking in Mombasa, the customs agents led by Kifwa board chairman William Ojonyo threatened to parlay the port’s operations if KRA does not renew the licences.

The move is expected to affect the movement of cargo from the port and have a ripple effect on the collection of revenue as the said agents act as custom agents for the taxman.

“It is four months into 2017 and we have been operating without licences. We cannot continue with this uncertainty; we will now scale down our services,” said Mr Ojonyo.

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He said the agents applied for the renewal of their licences in June 2016 but KRA has not issued them with the crucial documents. They accused KRA of introducing arbitrary new requirements.

Last year, KRA directed that all Kifwa corporate members and their directors be vetted to weed out rogue operators behind tax skirting syndicate at the port.

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