Car dealers fault date of excise duty

Friday March 4 2016

Hundreds of imported cars await to be cleared at a local Clearing Freight Station (CFS) in Mombasa. The Car Importers Association of Kenya wants a decision by Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich, setting December 1 last year as the date when the Excise Duty Act 2015 became effective, quashed. FILE PHOTO | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Hundreds of imported cars await to be cleared at a local Clearing Freight Station (CFS) in Mombasa. The Car Importers Association of Kenya wants a decision by Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich, setting December 1 last year as the date when the Excise Duty Act 2015 became effective, quashed. FILE PHOTO | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By PHILIP MUYANGA
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An association of vehicle importers wants a decision by Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich, setting December 1 last year as the date when the Excise Duty Act 2015 became effective, quashed.

Through lawyer Gikandi Ngibuini, Car Importers Association of Kenya also want the court to direct Mr Rotich to engage the public to participate on the issue of an effective date that the Act would come into operation.

This, Mr Ngibuini said, would mean that all revenue collected under the Excise Duty Act 2015 would have to be recalculated as the old Customs and Excise Act would be the only applicable law up to the date the new law would come into operation.

Mr Ngibuini told Justice Anyara Emukule in Mombasa that his clients were not accorded a chance to take part in the decision making, which directly affects their business.

“The applicant herein was denied a chance to take part in a decision making process which in essence affects its day to day mode of operations,” said Mr Ngibuini.

NEGATIVE IMPACT

He added that the Act was imposed on the public despite the fact that it has a negative impact on the public.

Through lawyer Andambi Chabala, KRA, which is an interested party in the case, argued that more than a year before tabling the Bill, it was uploaded on the National Treasury website as part of public participation.

Mr Chabala added that the public and stakeholders were also represented by members of Parliament who deliberated on the measures before enactment.

“The power to set the date of coming into operation of the Act was prescribed by Excise Duty Act 2015 and the CS duly exercised his power in appointing the date of operation within the prescribed time limits,” said Mr Chabala.

He further argued that in setting the date of operation, the CS’s actions cannot be termed as irrational and implementation by KRA cannot be said to be unreasonable.

KRA termed the application by the association as lacking merit and said it ought to be dismissed with costs.

The Attorney-General, representing the CS, adopted the submissions by KRA. The ruling is expected on April 7.