KRA orders mandatory COVID-19 screening for cargo truck drivers at border points

KRA orders mandatory COVID-19 screening for cargo truck drivers at border points
On Thursday, April 23, 2020, Uganda reported that several truck drivers from Kenya who had passed through the Busia and Malaba border points tested positive for coronavirus. PHOTO | COURTESY

The Kenya Revenue Authority has directed that all cargo truck drivers and their crew undergo mandatory screening for coronavirus at border points.

The new directives come a day after Uganda reported that several truck drivers from Kenya and Tanzania had tested positive for coronavirus.

“KRA will implement the directives in the Joint Statement by Ministers Responsible for EAC Affairs and Health issued on 25th March 2020 on Covid-19 preparedness and response in EAC Region,”Commissioner Customs and Border Control Kevin Safari said in a statement.

According to him, the new measures are to support Government initiatives aimed at managing the spread of COVID-19 at ports of entry and transit corridors countrywide.

Other measures include ensuring a maximum of three crew for all cargo trucks crossing the international land border points; fumigating trucks at the International Border Crossing; designating hotels and/or lodges for the cargo crew as well as provision of sanitizers, disinfectants and clean running water for the drivers and their crew.

In terms of security, KRA says it has taken adequate measures to ensure there are adequate staff numbers at the border points and that they continue to observe social distancing guidelines.

“KRA Staff are well trained on hygiene protocols and shall put on Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) at all times when offering services to importers, exporters and stakeholders,” the statement reads.

The taxman also notes technology is being used to ensure uninterrupted services to importers, exporters and stakeholders.

This includes the use of Simba System, Integrated Customs Management System (ICMS) and Single Window platforms.

In addition, KRA is encouraging its staff to communicate through email thus minimising physical contact and ensuring faster resolution of issues.

“All Customs related inquiries and applications will be processed online. Pre-Arrival Clearance (PAC) is encouraged for cargo coming through our borders to mitigate against delays,” the Commissioner said.

Further, all goods declared under the Single Customs Territory (SCT) framework shall be monitored via the Regional Electronic Cargo Tracking System (RECTS).


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