KRA Dismisses Speculation that Personal Luggage Will be Taxed

The Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) on Thursday put to bed the confusion precipitated by speculation that the agency is planning to introduce taxes on personal luggage valued at Ksh75,000 (USD500) or more.

In a detailed explanation on Thursday morning, the authority clarified that all used personal items are exempt from customs duty no matter the amount.

However, the taxman explained that according to East African tax regulations, goods valued up to Ksh75,000 (USD500) for each traveler are exempted from import tax as long as the luggage is accompanied and declared to the Customs Officer.

In the same breath, the authority issued additional clarifications on customs duty tax imposed on products imported into the country.

Times Towers in Nairobi which houses Kenya Revenue Authority’s head office. Thursday, February 20, 2020

The authority gave the example of a situation where imported goods are subjected to customs duty where owners of goods are expected to declare their price.

The duty to be paid (if any), as a result, shall be based on the actual purchase price as declared by the passenger or traveler.

Also, all passengers are required to declare the specified items in the Passenger Declaration Form (F88) prior to arrival in Kenya and present it to a customs official at the entry point.

The passengers, however, have a right to question the assessed customs duty and seek an explanation from the customs officer in charge.

“Scanning of a traveler’s baggage is done to ensure correct declarations for purposes of taxation and to screen out prohibited and restricted goods for the safety of all Kenyans,” read the statement in part.

“Items flagged out after the first line x-ray or non-intrusive scanning process will undergo a physical inspection by the Customs Officer.”

The Authority further indicated that it was in the process of upscaling the use of technology to enhance non-intrusive inspection of luggage at all points of entry. 

Kenyans had earlier raised concerns over charges imposed on individuals arriving in the country from abroad, especially at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA).

Passengers at Jomo Kenyatta Airport.


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