Kenya detains Uganda, Rwanda bound fuel tracks over tax arrears
The looming economic slump in the world over the Coronavirus pandemic is bound to bite Uganda and Rwanda in particular harder as a result of Kenya tax authorities confiscating tracks that ferry fuel the the landlocked East African states.
The Kenya Revenue Authority impounded the trucks in the past one week over tax arrears dating about five years since 2015.
Over 200 fuel loaded trucks headed for Uganda, Rwanda, South Sudan, DRC, and Burundiare said to be held at Eldoret and Kisumu ports over a tax debt mounting to about $7.2 millions.
KRA accuses the fuel exporters of purchasing fuel intended for export but ending up to sell it locally, an accusation denied by the oil marketing and transportation companies.
Kenya’s actions are however most likely to affect her export earnings as the affected countries will most probably look for alternative avenues through Tanzania.
Kenya recently announced sliced export tax tariffs on pipeline transportation fuel with an aim of recovering her grossly affected oil export market. The new tariffs came into force in February this year.
“The transport companies together with oil marketing companies have provided proof to KRA that these trucks exited through Malaba and Busia and the documents provided include KRA exit notes and and rotation numbers all issued at the borders but they don’t want to listen,” said one of the managers of the firms whose trucks are being held in Kenya.
The oil exporting firms accuse the Kenyan taxman of introducing contradictory trade demands that have greatly affected their profitability.
“KRA has introduced new demands that we go to the recipient countries and bring evidence of paying import duties, a mandate that neither falls on KRAor Kenyan business entities, ” he adds.