National Assembly Finance and Planning Committee Chairperson, Kimani Kuria, has announced that Parliament will review the custom duty imposed on goods over Ksh75,600 (USD500) at entry points such as airports.
Speaking during the 2023 Tax Day in Mombasa, Kuria revealed that he had held talks with NA Speaker Moses Wetangula, where they agreed to assess the custom duty following an uproar by Kenyans.
While noting that the collection of taxes was necessary, he underlined that the review would be done cognisant of relevant concerns raised.
Kuria explained that Kenyans living in the diaspora had expressed fears of returning home owing to the customs duty imposed at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA).
Molo Member of Parliament Kimani Kuria attending committee proceedings on June 22, 2023.
Parliament of Kenya
“With consultations of the NA, we are reviewing this Act with the remarks of Kenyans so that we can make the entry points into the airport more friendly,” he announced.
On the other hand, Treasury Cabinet Secretary Njuguna Ndungu maintained that the charges were not newly implemented as reported widely.
He added that officials at the JKIA were also under instruction not to mistreat visitors but to act in accordance with the law.
“The last time we made any changes to the Tax system was in June 2023 through the Finance Bill, and that is what we are implementing so far. No new taxes have been introduced,” the CS clarified.
“The process at our entry points is smooth, and the customs officers at the KRA have been instructed that this should remain the same.”
Earlier, Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) clarified that goods valued up to Ksh75,000 (USD500) for each traveller are exempted from import tax as long as the luggage is accompanied and declared at the customs office.
The taxman added that the rules were in line with the East African tax regulations.
The entrance of the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) in August 2019.