President Uhuru Kenyatta has ordered the Commissioner of Customs to relocate to Mombasa and directed the clearing process at the port to be digitised in order to enhance efficiency at the Kenya Ports Authority (KPA).
Speaking on Friday at State House, Nairobi during a meeting he called specifically to address inefficiencies at the port, President Kenyatta directed all government departments involved in the running of the port to streamline and synergise their operations.
He directed that the multiple players in government involved in port operations be properly coordinated under the leadership of the Kenya Ports Authority (KPA)'s managing director Gichiri Ndua, who will have direct control over all operations.
The meeting was attended by top officials of KPA, Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA), Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS), Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate (KEPHIS), Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS), security agencies, Ministry of Transport, Industry and the National Treasury.
During the meeting, the KPA managing director was given full mandate to institute immediate disciplinary measures to those who do not adhere to the agreed instructions.
The President further directed that all customs decisions be made and finalised at the Port of Mombasa without further reference to Nairobi which has created delays in the past. In this regard the Commissioner of Customs was directed to relocate to the port.
The Head of State also ordered the immediate digitisation of the clearing process and the modernisation of weighing of cargo. He further ordered the upgrading of Simba system and fast-tracking of the single window system that will automate the clearing process.
The President also said the Transshipment Bond should be abolished with immediate effect. He further said clearing and forwarding service companies and transit sheds located inside the port should be removed to ease congestion.
He added that authorised clearing and forwarding service companies and commercial banks in the clearing area must operate on a 24/7 basis or have their licences cancelled.
President Kenyatta said preferential treatment will be given to goods that are pre-certified and issued with certificates of conformity from the port of origin as opposed to those which will not have been certified.
The Head of State further said that a KEBS laboratory in Mombasa should be in place by 2014 to avoid relying on the laboratory in Nairobi which causes delays.
To ease traffic congestion, President Kenyatta said the government will prioritise the construction of a dual carriageway from Changamwe to Jomvu.
The President also ordered the formation of a special committee tasked with the responsibility of rejuvenating the railway transport system so as to accommodate more cargo, saying this will also reduce destruction of roads as well as road carnage.
He said weighbridges will also be modernised, adding that container goods weighed at Mariakani and with untampered seal will be allowed to travel to Malaba without further inspection at police roadblocks.
The President pointed out that roadblocks will be replaced with mobile traffic surveillance. In this regard, President Kenyatta urged the private sector to support the electronic vehicle tracking system to take effect without further delay.