Siginon Group, a leading transport & logistics player, has found itself in the mix in the ongoing investigations into the expenditure on dams for handling 10 of the 28 vehicles bought under the project and held in their customs bonded warehouses at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA), Nairobi.
It has emerged, that Siginon was contracted by the importer of the vehicles, CMC De Ravenna Intinera JV Kenya, to offer customs bonded warehousing at its JKIA Nairobi premises.
CMC De Ravenna Itinera, the importer, got approval from the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) to transfer 10 Toyota Hilux into Siginon Group’s bonded warehouse for storage pending payment of customs duty.
“The vehicles remain under customs bond in the control of Kenya Revenue Authority at our JKIA warehouses,” says Siginon Group Managing Director Meshack Kipturgo.
“Due process was followed in the engagement of both the client and all other concerned government agencies.”
Mr Kipturgo said Siginon Group’s involvement is limited to offering customs bonded warehousing for CMC Ravenna Itinera.
“With over 34 years in the logistics industry, Siginon Group supports ethical business that nurtures growth in the industry and boosts economic growth, which has earned it various industry accolades,” adds Mr Kipturgo.
Siginon Group, which is ISO 9001: 2015 certified, received the East Africa Maritime Awards by Kenya Ports Authority in the Best Cargo Transporter, Safety and Regional Cargo Logistics provider categories. The company also emerged Winner in the East African Business Excellence Award 2018 by the East African Business Council as the ‘Best East African Company; Transport & Logistics Category.
Understanding bonded warehousing
Vehicle importation is a straightforward business that requires a customs licensed agent such as Siginon Group to facilitate the cargo handling logistics at the port and facilitate respective customs procedures.
Vehicles that require customs bond are stored in licensed customs bonded warehouses under the customs authority, in Kenya’s case – the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA). The vehicles will be held as such, until the customs duty is paid where the customs authority will thereafter authorize their release.
Goods held under customs bond can only be released after payment of the respective duties and taxes with the customs agency. In the case of the CMC Ravenna vehicles in the Siginon Group JKIA warehouses, the vehicles are warehoused under customs bond and can therefore not be released without the authority of KRA.
Goods to be bonded are guided by the Customs Act regulation 61. Once imported into Kenya the goods are cleared from the Port of entry for transfer into a bonded warehouse via an entry lodged in the Customs Simba system called C17B/CPCW700, which is the customs code used for bonded goods.
Once the entry is accepted in the system by the customs bond keeper, an online message on the Simba system is sent to approve the movement of the goods from the entry port to a licensed customs bonded warehouse.
On arrival at the warehouse, a customs bond officer on the ground, physically confirms and accepts the goods to be bonded in the warehouse after first authenticating details such as the vehicle chassis and engine numbers.
The goods can only be removed from the bonded warehouse through an entry C17B/C410 in the customs Simba System which requires taxes to be paid to customs. After the customs entry is passed, it is taken to the customs bond keeper to release the goods online and the client can remove his vehicles from the customs bonded warehouse.
In light of the current investigations, Mr Kipturgo concludes, “Siginon management has and will co-operate fully with the law enforcement and investigations agencies.”