Boat builders decry heavy taxes

Written By: Christine Muchira

Captain Andy's fishing boats

Captain Andy’s fishing boat has called on the government to create a conducive environment to thrive by reducing the high taxes and levies.

Andy Thomas Chief Executive Officer of Captain Andy’s fishing boats says taxes make up about 45 percent of the total cost of a single boat compared to 15 percent in Seychelles and around 20 percent in South Africa.

He said the high number of tariffs is hindering the growth of the boat building industry which is a critical component of the Blue economy.

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“If Kenya wants to thrive in the continental map we have to reduce the levies, I am required to pay inspection fees, Import Declaration Fees (IDF) and Railway Development Levy (RDL) and these make it difficult for the players to be regional exporters,” said Andy.

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An import declaration fees of 2% and Railway development Levy of 1.5% are levied on value of imports as provided by the miscellaneous Fees and Levies Act of 2016.

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Captain Andy’s is the maker of fishing and luxury boats in the region selling around 40 boats to clients annually.

Boat building at Captain Andy’s fishing boats

Andy says Kenya has a diverse marine industry which is a big income earner.

However the industry is facing competition from new emerging markets.

He noted the need for job training assessment by the government and education stakeholders to identify and address the issue of training which is a key aspect in this industry for the workforce to be competent.

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Andy’s emphasised on proper safety training of the workforce to make them able to compete internationally.

He decried the import cost, cost of administration and processing of levies which is making many industry players opt to import boats from China, Dubai and other markets due to the high cost of the units in Kenya.



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