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Citation Information

Type Working Paper - Preventive Medicine
Title Tracking and tracing tobacco products in Kenya
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2017
URL http://opensaldru.uct.ac.za/bitstream/handle/11090/812/2016_164_Saldruwp.pdf?sequence=3
Although estimates of the size of the illicit cigarette market in Kenya vary, the government
sees it as a problem and has been trying to address the issue since the early 2000's.
Between 2003 and 2013 the Kenyan government experimented with numerous measures
designed to reduce tobacco tax evasion with varying degrees of success. In the end, it
decided to implement a tracking and tracing system for cigarettes (and alcohol products)
and joined a small but growing number of countries addressing illicit tobacco trade via a
technological solution. The introduction of the new system required a systematic approach,
participation of all stakeholders, and an initial investment into infrastructure and
enforcement. Preliminary results indicate that the new system, accompanied by an
electronic cargo monitoring system, has reduced the size of the illicit cigarette market and
substantially increased tax revenue for the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA). The experience
of Kenya highlights the importance of political will, consistency, and comprehensiveness of
the system addressing tax evasion, because piecemeal measures have only short‐term

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