The Kenya Revenue Authority has increased its revenue collection in the Coastal region after it stepped up efforts to curb illegal trade in the region.
Through a multi-agency surveillance approach supported by other state agencies both on land and at sea, the taxman’s move to seal porous borders has since increased its revenues, collecting twice as much as it collected in 2022.
The revenues improved from Sh2 Million target to Sh 5 Million.
Southern Regional Coordinator Lawrence Siele noted that there has been an increase in the number of goods passing through customs stations at border points following increased surveillance both on land and at sea.
The Regional boss who was speaking during the International Customs Day marked at the Shimoni Customs Office in Kwale County noted that the multimedia agency teams from Kenya Coast Guard and Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) have been surveilling borders to prevent the illegal movement of goods.
During the celebrations, at least 18 of its officers from various postings were awarded certificates for their exemplary work.
KRA also appreciated its former Assistant Manager in Lungalunga Joram Maina, who lost his life last year after being swept away by El Nino rains.
“If this continues we are going to see enhanced business, just like we have seen in Shimoni,” said Siele.
He said KRA is also banking on technology to enhance its operations. This includes simplifying the long clearing processes traders have to go through when shipping goods in the country.
The simplified processes of importers clearing their goods before arrival at the Port will help goods reach the market faster, promoting Mombasa Port as a transhipment hub.
“KRA has developed and implemented a solution to allow shipping lines to pay for all their transhipment cargo using one single e-slip since October last year,” said Siele.
Previously, the authority had admitted to losing millions of revenue through the porous borders where traders would move goods in or outside the country without being checked.
Shimoni was a smuggling hub where traders used porous routes to smuggle contraband goods from Tanzania to Kenya.
At the same time, Kwale County Trade and Tourism CEC Michael Mutua said KRA’s efficiency in the county will also in turn increase revenues collected by the county government.
“People have been avoiding KRA because they know it is always about being asked for taxes. But we are seeing that with more collaborations with the locals and the county, we will have more benefits and improved business,”
He said Kwale was lucky to have two major entry ports at Shimoni and Lungalunga which will improve business and revenues.