Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) has agreed to the valuation of Pakistani long grained white rice at actual price of $300-350 per metric ton instead of $580 per metric ton previously. Exporters told Business Recorder on Tuesday that the KRA has suddenly revised the valuation of several commodities including Pakistani rice upward side without consultation of stakeholders. The KRA decision resulted in stuck of hundreds of Pakistan”s rice containers at Kenyan seaport.
They informed that the valuation of Pakistani rice, being calculated by the KRA, was much higher than the actual market price, of which the importers were unable to get their imported rice consignments. The KRA was imposing a valuation of $580 per metric ton on Pakistan long grained white rice as against its actual valuation of $300 to $350 per metric tons. Kenya rice importers are even ready to pay the taxes on the actual price, however the KRA was insisting for higher valuation, they mentioned.
“A trade X messaging system of the KRA is calculating higher valuation on all imports from Pakistan, that created panic among the exporters and imports”, said Rafique Suleman, Chairman Rice Export Committee (FPCCI) and Convenor East Africa Committee of Rice Exporters Association of Pakistan (REAP).
Hundreds of Pakistani rice containers have been held at Mombasa Port due to valuation issue and importers are worry of increasing the cost of the commodity due to demurrages, he added. He said that now the price valuation issues have almost finalised with the KRA and release of Pakistani rice consignments are likely to start soon. “On request of REAP, Pakistani Commercial Counsellor Zahid Qadeer in Nerobi Keyna held a meeting with the KRA authorities and finally they have been agreed for actual valuation of Pakistani rice,” he informed.
Pakistani Commercial Counsellor met the Commissioner Customs of the KRA and discussed the matter of overvaluation by customs authorities on Pakistani rice and Commissioner Customs (Kenya) have been agreed to resolve the matter by valuating Pakistani rice on current market price.
“As per assurance by the Commissioner Customs (KRA) the long grained white Pakistani rice will now be valued at a range of $300-350 per metric ton as against the previous demanded value of $580 per metric ton by the KRA,” Suleman said. He said that during the meeting it has also decided that the price will be reviewed quarterly and chances of this problem rising again cannot be ruled out. Customs authorities were also assured that the verified prices of rice (different verities) will be provided to them after devising a mechanism in consultation with Ministry of Commerce (Pakistan) and REAP.
“It was also decided that both Ministry of Commerce and REAP will inform the KRA regarding alleged practices of under invoicing to curb it,” he informed. Suleman said that in the light of these meeting, Pakistani Commercial Counsellor, has also requested REAP to co-ordinate with concerned section of ministry of commerce to work out a strategy for addressing the price issue. He said that as per REAP estimates some 600 containers carrying 15,000 metric ton rice cargo have been stuck at Kenyan port from the last one week due to valuation issue. He said that importers are facing huge storage and demurrage bills, which is harmful to Pakistan”s potential business to Kenya.