KENYA – Keroche Breweries and Mastermind Tobacco are among big companies that are yet to secure an excise tax licence, and could have their products pulled from the market.

The two are among those missing from an updated list of licensed importers, producers or sellers of excisable goods that was released by the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) yesterday.

Their omission means that they are supposed to halt production and sale of their products until they secure the licence.

“Kindly note that it is an offence under Section 185 (1) (d) (iii) of the Customs and Excise Act to be in possession, purchase or consume excisable goods manufactured or imported or sold by unlicensed persons,” the KRA said in the notice.

“Any manufacturers or importers not listed herein below are not authorised to manufacture, import or sell excisable goods in accordance with notifications earlier sent to them.”

Keroche Breweries manufactures beers and spirits, both of which are excisable while Mastermind manufactures cigarettes, Mumias Sugar which produces ethyl alcohol, an excisable product, is also missing from the list. Another major company that is missing is Seven Up Bottling Company which produces Pepsi.

The updated list of 177 companies came after a two-week window granted by KRA to the manufacturers and importers to acquire the permits expired.

The extension came after industry lobby, the Kenya Association of Manufactures (KAM) complained that the taxman had denied more than 80 per cent of its members the excise tax licence, effectively prohibiting them from manufacturing and selling excisable goods.

The industrialists had blamed the taxman for failure to properly coordinate implementation of the new legal requirements, causing delays in compliance.

KRA introduced new requirements for issuance of excise tax licence at the beginning of the year.

August 18, 2015;