The government has proposed a separation of the customs department from the Kenya Revenue Authority in a bid to facilitate faster movement of goods.
Despite efforts by the revenue body to reform its operations especially through technology the finance minister Njeru Githae proposed creation of an autonomous Customs Services body.
This comes as the country moves to fully implement the East Africa Common Market Protocol. “To realign the operations of our Customs with this Protocol and to mainstream its critical role of trade facilitation and border controls, the Kenya Revenue Authority will be rationalised with a view to establishing the Customs Services as an autonomous entity on its own,”said the minister in his budget speech yesterday.
He said the Government will soon commence a process to consolidate all existing cargo related standard enforcement agencies into one single entity expected to reduce bureaucratic inefficiency in cargo clearance.
Deloitte tax expert, Andrew Oduor lauded the move saying customs has been a very problematic area in the country with the systems inefficient. “it hoped that establishment of the autonomous entity is going to help streamline the operations and that is going to resolve this issues,” he said. Source: The Star (Nairobi)
Comment: In effect, this seems no more than a move to create an autonomous border management agency. Unfortunately consolidating various agencies is not going to make customs any more efficient. As seems to be the case elsewhere across the globe where this method of ‘consolidation’ has been introduced, deep-seated discontent has often arisen with the former ‘ areas of expertise’ of individual authorities being lost forever. What results is a mongrelised agency fit more for political expedience rather than improved ‘efficiency and facilitation’. Good luck anyway.
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