Earlier today, Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) won a Ksh2.5 billion (about $25 million) court case against sugar importer Darasa Investments Limited.
KRA appealled against Darasa’s decision to stop it from importing 40,000 metric tonnes of duty free Brazilian sugar.
The dispute arose from the decision, last year, at the height of the drought and maize flour crisis, to allow duty free importation of maize, milk and sugar to alleviate shortages.
Sugar importers were allowed to bring in the commodity free, on the condition that the sugar imports would be loaded in the country. Darasa, however, has accused KRA of not allowing it offload and market its consignment due to sugar tax.
KRA appealed to the Court of Appeal, arguing that the importation of sugar does not fit within the Gazette Notice No. 9802 of October 4, 2017 (as read with Gazette Notice 4536 of 12th May, 2017), which stated exempted sugar was loaded into a vessel destined to a port in Kenya from May 12 to August 31, 2017.
Darasa lost the court case, because the evidence it presented does not explicitly show that its imports were destined to Kenya ports.
“The importer presented several documents,” the court ruling stated, “which clearly indicated that the source of the sugar was Dubai and it could not therefore have been shipped from Brazil on 15th July, 2017.”