Kenya mulls mobile app to collect import duties to boost international trade

By agencies

Kenya plans to develop a mobile phone application to collect import and export duties in order to boost international trade, the revenue agency has announced.

Caxton Masudi, deputy commissioner, Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA), told journalists in Nairobi that the phone-based system will enable cross-border traders to track customs clearance procedures in real-time.

“We hope to release the mobile-based application by March next year so as to boost Kenya’s international trade environment,” Masudi said during the launch of the annual taxpayer’s month.

The revenue collector convened the month-long event to sensitize the public on the importance of paying taxes.

Masudi added that the mobile application will be integrated into the mobile money platforms as well as the banking system in order to permit traders to pay for import and export tariffs digitally.

Masudi noted that through offering full electronic service for custom procedures, Kenya is expected to generate more revenues by enhancing compliance.

He noted that the system will reduce compliance costs for importers and exporters by reducing intermediaries.

The revenue agency already has a web-based system for collection of taxes but its use is limited to those with access to computers.

“With the mobile app, we hope to leverage on the widespread ownership of phones to reach all potential taxpayers,” he added.