By MURIMI GITARI
May 2,2019,Nairobi.The Kenya Revenue Authority unveiled a system in 2016 that is inbuilt to ensure fast clearance of legitimate transactions and block those that intend to commit fraud especially importers that will not comply in filing domestic tax returns in which they will not be able to make custom declarations.
The established state of the heart system has already been piloted by a number of users like shipping lines with the first cargo module set to go live on 10th of this month at JKIA, Moi and Eldoret airports in implementation of this Integrated Custom Management System ICMs and the closure of the Simba system.
The whole process that would take place in clearance of goods using the Simba system is now being consolidated into one single system, the ICMs, that will ensure there is transparency in the process for the trader and the agent by keeping them aware of the steps being carried out in the progress of the entry.
The system will enhance efficiency as KRA will be able to manage greater flow of goods during clearance as it is a simplified process that will capture one time data and have more payment options like mobile payments making it more convenient unlike when traders had to queue in banks to make the payments.
There is reduction cost in making business and paperless environment of this integrated system as there will be pre-arrival clearance in both airlines and shipping lines with an increase in compliance in regards to level playing ground of trade and fair revenue assessment.
Handling of cargo process had to be put in one single system which will ensure there is no compromise with the tax man conforming to matters concerning the security of data.
During an engagement and presentation of the ICMs to stakeholders at Hilton Hotel in Nairobi, Susan Wanjohi the ICMs Project Roll Out Manager said that the system is set to be rolled out to both exporters and importers with air manifests set to be submitted through system to system data exchange unlike the Simba system. Ground Handlers have therefore been urged to ensure their systems are ready to receive system to system Custom Release Messages due to the discontinuity of manual releases that will take effect from the eve of date 10 when the cargo module will be going live. The ability and functionality to launch the IDFs will be shut down.
All cargo clearance documentation that entails Import Declaration Forms (IDFs), security bonds and Aircago declarations will also be submitted through the new system. The security bonds in Simba system will retire due to the required submission to ICMs.
Measures have been put in place to ensure the system is not hacked as it is separated with credentials for database being different and encrypted information between ICMs and external integrated system environment or rather separation of external and internal users.
KRA will be checking the validity of data in I-Tax for companies and their compliance for them to get access to the system.
Kenya Pipeline Corporation, Revenue Authorities and TiMs are some of the 27 systems consolidated in the ICMs which will have 10 functional centers and 42 modules. KRA has established support centers at the three airports and at Times Tower for effective roll out of the system.