The Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) has cautioned the public against the use of fraudulently registered motor vehicles and those whose import duty has not been paid for.
Acting Commissioner for Investigations and Enforcement Dr. Edward Karanja said that KRA has embarked on investigations to identify the perpetrators of the fraudulent scheme.
He noted that some of these vehicles may have been sold to innocent Kenyans who are not part of the scheme. Being in possession of motor vehicles for which duty has not been paid is an offence under section 200 (d) (iii) as read together with section 210 (c) of the East African Community Customs Management Act 2004.
The particular law states that: “A person who — (d) acquires, has in his or her possession, keeps or conceals, or procures to be kept or concealed, any goods which he or she knows, or ought reasonably to have known, to be (iii) unaccustomed goods, commits an offence and shall be liable on conviction to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years or to a fine equal to fifty percent of the dutiable value involved, or both of the goods”.
It also states in Section 210 that. “In addition to any other circumstances in which goods are liable to forfeiture under this Act, the following goods shall be liable to forfeiture— (a) any prohibited goods; (c) any unaccustomed goods;”
Dr. Karanja noted that the irregularly registered motor vehicles have been found to be overage and as such, they are prohibited imports since they do not comply with Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) KS 1515:2000 standard on the eight-year rule.
“Members of the public are hereby requested to verify the status of payment of Customs duty of registered motor vehicles with the Kenya Revenue Authority before purchasing the same,” he added.
He also said that in the recent past, KRA has continued to intercept imported or locally manufactured goods and the means of conveyance (motor vehicles/trucks) as provided for under the East African Community and Customs Management Act 2004 and the Excise Duty Act 2015.
Some of these vehicles have been found to transport prohibited, unaccustomed goods, including excisable goods affixed with fake stamps or those not affixed with excise stamps.
According to Section 211. (1) of the EACCMA, 2004 a vessel of less than two hundred and fifty tones register and any vehicle, animal, or other thing, made use of in the importation, landing, removal, conveyance, exportation, or carriage coastwise, of any goods liable to forfeiture under this Act shall itself be liable to forfeiture.
On the other hand, Excise Duty Act of 2015 outlaws any person to deal or be in possession of excisable goods that have been manufactured contrary to the provisions of this Act, or which have been removed from the place where they ought to have been charged with excise duty before such duty has been charged and either paid or secured.
KRA wishes to urge the public to avoid the consequences of investigations and prosecution and seizure and detention of their goods. The truck/motor vehicle owners are required to know what their vehicles are carrying/conveying, the owner(s) of the goods and the actual destination where the goods are to be delivered.