The Kenya Revenue Authority has refuted claims that the snarl-up of trucks at the Kenya-Tanzania border town of Namanga is due to an increment of taxes on liquid petroleum gas (LPG), even as the agency as seeks to hasten the resolution of the impasse.
The taxman said on Wednesday that the LPG tax was reintroduced by the Kenyan government in July 2021, after being zero-rated in 2016, but had not been increased.
Some importers were, however, undervaluing their LPG products to evade tax and have since been issued with notices to comply after which their trucks will be cleared from the border post, KRA said in a statement.
“It is also significant to note that the LPG products in question are not sourced from the East African Community Partner States as reported,” read the statement signed by KRA’s Deputy Commissioner for Customs Revenue and Regional Coordination.
The tax impasse at the Namanga border post has caused a build-up of transit trucks, some destined for as far as South Sudan. Some of the LPG trucks have reportedly started leaking, endangering the safety of the drivers, residents, and workers in the area.
“We are ourselves very sceptical of working around here, because we are scared the trucks might explode,” Stephen Mutua, a Namanga resident, told NTV on Wednesday.
“There are over 200 hundred trucks here and the LPG trucks put all of them in danger,” said Mohammed Muhin, a transit truck driver.
KRA said it is aware of the inconvenience and security risks caused by the LPG trucks, adding that it is working with the affected importers to resolve the issue.
“KRA has had an engagement with importers’ representatives and owners of the trucks and they have been instructed to quickly comply and clear their LPG consignments from the Namanga One-Stop Border Post.”