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Biting tampons shortage to last one more month

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Sanitary pads. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

The biting shortage of tampons could last for another one month as suppliers of the female hygiene products grapple with import hitches.

Kim Fay East Africa, the local suppliers of Kotex tampons, have attributed the shortage to hitches in supply of raw materials used to produce the tampons.

On the other hand Radbone Clark Kenya, who import, market and sell OB tampons, have attributed shortage of their brand to the slow movement of cargo at the Mombasa Port following enforcement of more stringent inspection procedures by the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) and other State agencies.

Radbone Clark Kenya said the new port clearance procedures introduced late last year by KRA were an impediment to many businesses.

“Our products need no assembly since they come as finished products. However, the delay in clearing cargo lasts six to eight weeks and this is something we have been experiencing since September last year,” said a Radbone Clark official who requested anonymity to enable her speak candidly.

The new procedures, aimed at checking the inflow of fake products into the country, requires all consolidated cargo to be inspected by Kenya Bureau of Standards (Kebs) appointed agents and issued with a Certificate of Inspection (COI) in the country of origin before importation.

A Kim Fay spokesperson cited “logistic issues” as the reason behind the over three-month shortage of Kotex tampons in local supermarkets.

The shortage has caused widespread outcry on social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter.

“We assemble our products locally and getting the raw materials has been a challenge, but we are working on getting them by end of the month,” said the Kim Fay official also on condition of anonymity.

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Kim Fay, however, said the shortage has no relation with the recall of some Kotex tampons in the US by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) after consumers reported that some of the products unravelled or came apart when they were being removed.

“We are a different market and this does not affect the quality of the products we distribute in the country,” she said.

Kebs and the KRA issued a notice in May to all importers of consolidated air and sea cargo to register with the standards agency to have their goods inspected under a new procedure introduced in 2005.

The procedure, which saw 20 firms approved to import as consolidators, has been targeting cargo containing a wide range of products.

It also targets merchandise in small quantities or parcels belonging to several consignees who have assembled their parcels to form one consignment and which may be declared as belonging to one importer at the port of destination.

Feminine hygiene products such as tampons are not the only goods affected at the port due to the ongoing government crackdown of illicit goods.

In November, soft drinks processor Coca-Cola was locked in a bitter dispute with the taxman and Kebs over goods worth Sh500 million detained at Mombasa port.

The lack of access to the feminine hygiene products has been a problem to a large percentage of women who use it in lieu of ordinary sanitary towels.

Tampons are designed to absorb menstrual flow and are usually made from rayon or a blend of cotton and rayon materials.

Just like the ordinary sanitary towels they all come in different sizes corresponding to the amount of liquid they can absorb. They include mini, regular, super or even super plus.



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KRA wins Sh2b claim on shippers : The Standard

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The Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) has scored a major win after a court ruling gave it the go-ahead to collect Sh2 billion from seven shipping lines.
The High Court earlier this month ruled that KRA could collect withholding tax from shipping lines on container demurrage charges – which are additional fees levied on cargo importers for continued use of ships due to delay in offloading goods after arrival at port.
Judge of Milimani Court’s Commercial and Admiralty Division Francis Tuiyott ruled in favour of KRA in a consolidated tax appeal case filed by the shipping lines operating in Kenya protesting taxation of income on demurrage charges.

SEE ALSO :This Treasury clerk made Sh600m in six years

The shippers – CMA CGM, Gulf Badr Group, Oceanfreight, Sturrok Shipping, Maersk Kenya, WEC Lines and Inchcape Shipping Services – wanted the court to make a finding that demurrage charges are not subject to tax in Kenya.
Demurrage charges
In the appeal on a ruling by the Tax Appeals Tribunal, the companies argued that demurrage constitutes part of the amount received on account of the carriage of goods and is therefore part of the cost of shipping.

For More of This and Other Stories, Grab Your Copy of the Standard Newspaper.  

KRA on the other hand said demurrage charges do not form part of freight levied by shipping lines as it could only be accrued after the goods had been cleared through Customs and entered the country.
In his determination, Justice Tuiyott held that freight comes to an end at the port of landing and any demurrage imposed on containers for late return is a post-importation charge.

SEE ALSO :KRA nets Sh628 billion in half-year collections

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The court upheld the earlier ruling by the tribunal, noting that demurrage charges paid by Kenyan firms “should be treated as income derived from Kenya” and that shipping agents were liable to withhold tax. 


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Kenya Revenue AuthorityKRAHigh CourtTax Appeals Tribunal

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KRA takes over revenue collection in Nairobi

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It will come in to effect in 21 days from the date of the execution/FILE

, NAIROBI, Kenya Feb 26 – The
Kenya Revenue Authority is set take-over the revenue collection in Nairobi once
an agreement to signed yesterday to surrender key county functions back to the
national government take effect on March 25.

According to a
Special Gazette Notice detailing how the transferred will executed, shows that
the KRA will be the principal revenue collector in the capital city, taking
charge of parking fees, business licenses, land lease fees and buildings’
approval charges.

Notice which
makes public the Deed of Transfer signed by Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko and
Devolution Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa states that agreement which was
signed at State House Nairobi and witnessed by President Uhuru Kenyatta; Senate
Speaker Ken Lusaka gives the National Government the responsibility of
collecting and remitting all revenues accruing from the transferred functions.

It will come
in to effect in 21 days from the date of the execution.

The landmark
agreement which was made public by State House Spokesperson Kanze Dena-Mararo
will see National Government take over the operation relating to County Health
Services, County Transport Services, County Public Works, Utilities and
Ancillary Services and County Government Planning and Development respectively.

The Deed of
Transfer of Functions further states that the functions shall be drawn from
either or both the Consolidated Fund and the County Revenue Fund.

“The
Nairobi City County Government shall ensure that the transferred functions are
fully funded from the County Revenue Fund. The level of funding for each
transferred function shall be determined by the National Government in
consolation with the County Government, but in any case the budgetary
allocation shall not be less than the amount last appropriated by the County
Assembly in the preceding financial year,” the Deed reads.

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According to
the Gazette Notice, the National Government and Nairobi County Government shall
review the performance of the transferred functions as it remains in force for
an initial renewable period of 24 months from the date of execution.

Human
Resources

As regards,
human resource allocation the Deed of Transfer states ‘the Nairobi County
Public Service Board shall in consolation with the Public Service Commission
formulate the necessary human resources’.

“The
National Government shall carry out a comprehensive capacity assessment in line
with Article 190 of the Constitution, as read with Section 121 of the County
Governments Act, 2012: and in addition to the capacity building measures
identified in the Capacity Assessment and Rationalization of the Public Service
Programme Review Report (CARPS), the Parties shall develop a capacity building
programme.

The CARP
survey conducted in the 47 counties in June 2016 revealed that the devolved
units are overstaffed.

In Nairobi
County, for instance, has been struggling with a bloated workforce costing it a
monthly wage of Sh1.1 billion.

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Kenya Vulnerable to Financial Meltdown – Moody’s

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Kenya is among countries in Sub Sahara Africa that are prone to a financial meltdown, according to a report by Moody’s.

According to the rating agency, Kenya is on the list of vulnerable countries that have either unfavorable debt structures with thin external buffers, narrow domestic debt market and/or a weak debt management capacity.

Moody’s lists the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Mozambique
and Zambia as most exposed to a financial crisis while Ghana, Angola and Kenya
are also vulnerable but to a lesser extent.

The rating agency’s assessment of Kenya follows a move to establish a debt management office within the National Treasury. The Public Debt Management Office (PDMO), a department at the National Treasury, has received a fresh mandate.

Beginning this month, borrowing powers previously held by the Treasury Cabinet Secretary will shift to this unit.

Latest figures from the Treasury, as at January 31st 2020 indicate that the Government earned revenue of KSh1.4 trillion. This is made up of KSh897 million in taxes collected by Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA), KSh304.8 billion in domestic borrowing and KSh17.3 billion in foreign loans.

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Total recurrent expenditure was KSh588 billion while development expenditure was KSh1.3 trillion.

Treasury’s statement of actual revenue and expenditure as at 31st January, 2020 indicates that a total of KSh153.3 billion was disbursed to the County Governments. This excludes KSh6.2 billion for leasing of medical equipment, KSh485 million for construction of various County HQs and KSh8.9 billion as Road Maintenance fuel levy.

See Also:

Treasury Restructures Public Debt Management Portfolio

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