Government says Kenya will NOT ban second-hand clothes imports

Traders in second-hand clothes business have reason to keep smiling after Industrialisation cabinet secretary Adan Mohamed said Kenya will not impose a ban on second-hand clothes.

“…it is our desire to develop and promote our textile industry in our country to create more jobs for people in our country (sic). And through the transition of market forces we would like mitumba clothes to compete with clothes that are produced within East Africa, within Kenya, and if those products are much more competitive and much more consumer friendly, then of course you will see a reduction in the mitumba business in our country. But it is not going to be through a ban or anything of that nature,” said Mohamed at a press conference on the sidelines of the Belt and Road Forum in Beijing, China.

READ ALSO: Uhuru Kenyatta says intra-Africa trade tops Kenya’s Foreign Policy objectives

Mohamed further said that by retaining the flow of second-hand clothes (mitumba), into the country, it will allow both importers and local producers to remain in business.

In the last two years, East African Community member states of Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi have been mulling over a joint restriction on second-hand clothes and shoes in a move meant to protect local textile manufacturers but which could harm a multi-billion shilling group of importers.

This announcement came as some US lobbyists were pushing for Kenya to be suspended from the Africa Growth Opportunity Act (Agoa) group of countries for supposedly violating the principles of trade between the US and Kenya.

Photo: The Citizen

Movable Property Security Rights Bill 2017 becomes Law

The Movable Property Security Rights Bill 2017, which enhances the ability to access credit using movable assets has become Law after President signed the Bill on 10th May, 2017.

The new law facilitates the use of movable property as collateral for credit facilities, establishes the office of the Registrar of security rights as well as provides for the registration of security rights in movable property. The Act also promotes consistency and certainty in securing financing relating to movable assets.

The State Law Office facilitated the drafting of the Movable Property Security Rights Bill that seeks to enhance access to credit by small and micro business enterprises. This will be by linking financial lenders to businesses and individuals.

READ ALSO: Uhuru Kenyatta says intra-Africa trade tops Kenya’s Foreign Policy objectives

The development is part of the government’s effort to promote socio-economic development while enhancing economic governance and empowerment in the advancement of the country’s development priorities as spelt out in Vision 2030, Constitution of Kenya 2010, Jubilee Coalition Manifesto, the Millennium Development Goals and the Sustainable Development Goals declarations.

Other reforms that have taken place to create an enabling environment for business in Kenya include the enactment of the Companies Act 2015 and Insolvency Act 2015 as well as the establishment of the Business Service Registration Board.

More details available on treasury.go.ke

12 deadly offenses that will earn you a fine from KRA

The deadline for filing tax returns in Kenya is 30 June. As the deadline nears, the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA), has increased the penalty for failing to meet the deadline. 

“Penalty for late filling of tax returns on employment is 5% or KSh 10,000 whichever is higher. On turnover tax, penalty is KSh 5,000, any other case is 5% of tax due or KSh 20,000. For failure to submit a tax document as required, one will be charged KSh 1,000 per day, maximum KSh 50,000,” said Wanja Wang’ondu, Acting assistant manager domestic taxes Nairobi region.

READ ALSO: Central Bank of Kenya warning against unlicensed deposit-taking entities and schemes

For not keeping proper records, the penalty is either 10% of tax or KSh 100,000, whichever is higher. Interest chargeable is 1% per month on principal tax. For offences which no specific penalty is provided, a general penalty of a fine not exceeding KSh 500,000 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding three years, or both, is applicable. “If someone want to get a tax compliance certificate today, we won’t issue it until they first pay the penalty for 2016,” said Wang’ondu.

12 offenses that will attract a fine

All registered taxpayers are required by Law to comply. The VAT Act lists certain offences and respective penalties.

1. Failure to register – fine not exceeding KSh 20,000 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months or both.

2. Enforced registration – default penalty of KSH 100,000.

3. Failure to submit a return on or before the due date or submitting a payment return without paying the tax due – default penalty of KSh 10, 000 or 5% of the tax due whichever is the higher and additional interest of 2% per month compounded.

4. Failure to keep proper records – a default penalty of between KSh10, 000 to KSh 200, 000.

5. Fraudulent Accounting – a fine not exceeding KSh 400, 000 or double the tax evaded whichever is greater or imprisonment for a term not exceeding three (3) years or both.

6. Failure to issue a Tax Invoice – an automatic penalty of not less than KSh 10, 000 but not exceeding KSh 100,000.

7. Hindrance or obstruction of authorised officers.

8. Uttering false statements.

9. Charging tax when not registered – tax shown on such invoice is due to the Commissioner within seven (7) days.

10. Failure to display a certificate of registration – a default penalty of KSh 20, 000 and a fine not exceeding KSh 200, 000 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding two (2) years or both.

11. Failure to comply with VAT regulations

12. Failure to pay tax and late payment

Useful information

KRA Call Centre
Tel:  +254 (020) 4999 999

Mobile number:  +254 (0711) 099 999

Email: callcentre@kra.go.ke

Central Bank of Kenya warning against unlicensed deposit-taking entities and schemes

The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) is warning members of the public about the re-emergence of unlicensed deposit-taking entities and Ponzi/pyramid schemes.

CBK and the Sacco Societies Regulatory Authority (SASRA) has sounded the alarm against unlicensed deposit-taking entities and Ponzi/pyramid schemes that entice members of the public to place money with them in return of quick and abnormally high returns.

“CBK and SASRA advise members of the public not to place their money with such unlicensed entities. CBK and SASRA are the sole licensing authorities for deposit-taking institutions in Kenya,” said a statement published on the CBK website.

CBK licenses commercial banks under the Banking Act, and microfinance banks under the Microfinance Act. SASRA licenses deposit-taking SACCOs under the SACCO Societies Act.

However, there are other cooperative societies registered by the Commissioner for Cooperative Development (CCD) to mobilize savings from their members and also provide credit facilities against the collateral of such savings. These are the non-deposit-taking SACCO Societies, which are governed by the Cooperative Societies Act. However, they are not authorized to take withdrawable deposits or present themselves to the public as deposit taking entities.

“Members of the public should exercise caution and ensure they place their funds with credible and duly licensed deposit-taking institutions. The list of licensed deposit-taking financial institutions can be obtained from CBK’s website www.centralbank.go,ke and SASRA’s website www.sasra.go.ke. Inquiries on the activities of all other cooperative societies or non–deposit-taking SACCOs should be directed to the office of the Commissioner for Cooperative Development or the nearest County/District Cooperative offices,” says CBK.

Uhuru Kenyatta says intra-Africa trade tops Kenya’s Foreign Policy objectives

President Uhuru Kenyatta has said one of his priority Foreign Policy objectives is to see trade between African countries grow. Kenya’s published it’s first Foreign Policy in November, 2014. 

The President said he has promoted the integration of the East African region and advocated for increased collaboration between African nations. Kenyatta was responding to questions by officers from Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Egypt and Nigeria who are attending a course at the National Defence College in Karen, Nairobi.

Underlying Kenya’s peace and security diplomacy is the recognition of peace and stability as necessary pre-conditions for development and prosperity. Linked to this, is Kenya’s conviction that its own stability and economic wellbeing are dependent on the stability of the sub-region, Africa and the rest of the world.

READ ALSO: Additional information

People-to-people movement and easier movement of goods and services is at the heart of Africa building a prosperous future. Kenyatta said he wants to change the traditional trend where the economic interest of African countries ended at their own borders in relation to other nations on the continent while they trade extensively with overseas nations.

About Kenya’s foreign policy

Kenya’s Foreign Policy include the Kenya Vision 2030 and its Medium Term Plans, Sessional Papers, Manifestos of the ruling political parties; Executive pronouncements and Circulars, among others.

The document spells out the general terms of Kenya’s engagement with the international community and the principles behind its foreign dealings.

On 3rd May, 2017, Kenyatta launched the National Defence Policy and Gender Policy documents at the National Defence College, Karen. The Policy acknowledges and respects Kenya’s dealings with it’s neighbours, the East Africa Community and other Regional Mechanisms. It also recognizes the African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA) framework as well as other International institutional mechanisms to mitigate peace and Security.