Source: WCO/Kenya Revenue Authority
1. Measures aiming to Facilitate the Cross-border Movement of Relief and Essential Supplies
1.1. To facilitate the movement of the essential supplies across the borders, Customs, as the lead agency in the land borders, and other government agencies are offering their services 24 hours a day and are working beyond the 7pm to 5am curfew to process cargo and crew at the borders.
1.2. Customs is the chair of the National Multi-Agency Task-force for the Facilitation of Cross-Border movement aimed at addressing the challenges of movement of goods within the country experienced during the Covid-19. The team comprising of departments of Customs, The Police, Immigration, Health, Trade, meets online on a weekly basis, but the team is updated round the clock on any challenges experienced and sharing of statistics is also done on a daily basis by the different agencies.
1.3. The Department has circulated the list of essential goods as shared by the WCO during the COVID-19 pandemic to all staff and reminded them of the need to facilitate the movement of these goods.
2. Measures aiming at Supporting the Economy and Sustaining Supply Chain Continuity
2.1. Facilitation of small-scale traders who have been advised to consolidate their cargo for ease of movement across the borders.
2.2. Customs has implemented presidential directives on tax reduction such as the revision of VAT rate from 16% to 14%; remission of duties and waiver of certain fees, in order to make goods affordable to citizens.
2.3. The borders are closed for people, however the movement of goods is still ongoing and measures to ensure that any crisis involving the movement of goods at the borders is averted.
3. Measures aiming at Protecting Customs administrations’ Staff
3.1. Provision of Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) to the staff.
3.2. Maintaining social distancing at the work place of about 3 meters.
3.3. Customs staff are working on shifts round the clock to reduce the congestion at the work stations/ offices while ensuring movement of goods continues.
3.4. Customs has initiated discussions with other key border agencies to implement a paperless clearance process by ensuring the entire release and notification process is handled in the systems. This has also catered for private sector paperless declaration and clearance process.
4. Measures aiming at Protecting Society
4.1. The importation of second hand or used textile articles has been banned during the pandemic
4.2. Close monitoring of the cargo crew transiting through the country has been enforced. The ship crew are currently not allowed to disembark, while the airline crew are isolated in the government designated isolation facilities. This is to ensure that there is no interaction with the public.
4.3. The Kenya Revenue Authority is constantly running adverts with information on safety during the COVID–19 pandemic.
4.4. Screening of drivers at the borders is on-going. The country has also started the mass testing of drivers and crew at the One Stop Border Posts (OSBPs).
5. Other Measures
5.1. Customs is part of the multi-agency taskforce that has taken a one-government approach in addressing the threat of the COVID-19 pandemic.