The Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) has collected a total of sh200 billion in the last six months despite an economic strain caused by the coronavirus.
KRA Regional coordinator Joseph Tonui revealed on Tuesday during the marking of the International Customs Day.
The taxman had projected a total of 183.5 billion in the same period.
He attributes the shoot up of revenue to the implementation of stringent border control and enforcement measures by law enforcement officers.
Mr Tonui says KRA has realigned its operations at the customs and border control department to ensure continuity of business by undertaking cargo clearance through online platforms to minimise physical contact between customs officers and clients.
“The use of technology and proactivity of custom officers who have been vigilant to ensure contraband trade is contained at the port of Mombasa has made the port less attractive to smuggling and international crime,” said Tonui.
To reduce cargo dwell at the port of Mombasa, the taxman says a new clearance system iCMS has been introduced, currently being piloted at the port.
Mr Tonui notes that despite the challenges coupled with the new system, it has been effective since its inception.
Said Tonui “Any new system comes with its challenges but I must say that it is working out well. We are trying to address some of the teething problems of the system,”
Meanwhile, Abdulmalik Hussein, Chief Manager Port Operations said the new clearance system runs concurrently with the old clearance system.
“The new system ICMS runs concurrently with the old system. We are therefore able to detect any challenge,” said Mr Hussein.
At the same time, Swaleh Faraj, one of the KRA senior officials said among the roles of the taxman include, revenue collection for government, maintaining border security in a bid to combat transnational organised crime.
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He says the taxman in partnership with relevant local and international players operating at the port of Mombasa have succeeded to prevent the port from being used as a conduit for contraband trade.
“Some of the roles of KRA include maintaining border security through our law enforcement officers. We also collect revenue for the government,” said Mr Faraj.
Mr Tonui says the East African Community single customs territory has minimised the transit goods clearance time as it has reduced unnecessary trade barriers and tariffs thereby facilitating the movement of cargo to the hinterland.
The event organised by the Kenya Revenue Authority also brought together revenue officials from Southern Sudan, Tanzania Uganda and Rwanda.
The theme of this year’s International Customs Day is Bolstering Recovery, Renewal and Resilience for a Sustainable Supply Chain.