enya Revenue Authority (KRA) has announced 31st December 2020 as the expiry date of the current Customs Clearing Agents certificates with the exception of the 3-year Authorised Economic Operators (AEO).
Provisions relating to the licensing of customs clearing agents are contained in Section 145 of the East African Community Customs Management Act, 2004 and Regulations 149-152 of the East Africa Community Customs Management Regulations, 2010.
“The applications for renewals are for AEOs (whose licences are expiring in December 2020) and the companies that were vetted, found compliant and approved by the Customs Agents Vetting Committee,” KRA announced in a recent public notice.
The applications shall be accompanied by duly filled form C20 available on the KRA Website, current CR 12, Tax Compliance Certificate for the company, Tax Compliance Certificate for all Directors and Certificate of Bond clearance
Other requirements include a copy of previous C21 Licence and Kenya International Freight and Warehousing Association (KIFWA) Clearance certificate for the year of application.
“Applications for Renewal of Customs Agents Licenses should be submitted through the Integrated Customs Management System (iCMS) platform on or before 4th December 2020,” the notice announced.
This comes on the background of requests by clearing agents for waiver of the licensing fee this year. The Federation of East African Freight Forwarders Associations (FEAFFA) wrote to KRA in October requesting for waiver to cushion agents against the huge toll on income occasioned by the Covid 19 pandemic.
In a letter dated 13th October this year, FEAFFA president wrote to revenue authorities in Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, South Sudan and Tanzania saying that the sector is dominated by small and medium sized firms that have been severely affected by the pandemic. Section 151 (1) of EACMR 2010 requires Customs agents to pay an annual fee every year.
“As encouraged in the April 2020 EAC administrative guidelines to facilitate movement of goods and services during the Covid-19 pandemic and the numerous austerity measures put in place by national governments to facilitate recovery of businesses and as a gesture to this critical sector to continue supporting the economies of the EAC region, FEAFFA requests EAC Partner States’ Revenue Authorities to waiver the licensing fees for Customs agents for the 2021 to contribute to the recovery of this critical sector,” the letter read in part.
Due to its regional reach, the association has played a significant role in bringing the industry together to lobby for joint initiatives among the Member States to enhance seamless flow of the goods since the first case was reported in the region.