Transport

Shippers accuse KPA of stalling order to revert port jobs to Coast

port

A Container Terminal within the Port of Mombasa. PHOTO | KEVIN ODIT | NMG

A cargo transport lobby has written to the Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) demanding unconditional clearance of goods at the Port of Mombasa accusing the State operator of blocking a presidential decree to revert custom services to the coastal city.

The Kenya Transporters Association (KTA) says they are still being asked to nominate their cargo to Mombasa a process that requires Kenya Ports Authority approval and use of Kenya Revenue Authority pin to determine cargo destinations.

The lobby says they want to be allowed to clear goods in Mombasa by default without having to apply to be given permission to do so.

President William Ruto issued a directive last week ordering that all cargo clearance be reverted to Mombasa port.

“Any procedure requiring an importer to apply for clearing of their shipment in Mombasa is hoodwinking the president and the public that the illegal order has been reversed,” Newton Wangoo an official of the organisation said.

“Any procedure requiring approval by your authority in order to nominate a consignment is in fact creating human discretion.”

The lobby said the use of KRA pin to determine where to take the cargo for clearance is in fact contrary to the Presidential directive.

Implementation of the order has created confusion with the transport meeting deferring issuance of guidelines to the National Treasury which took over port functions.

Retired President Uhuru Kenyatta transferred the functions of KPA, Kenya Railways Corporation (KRC) and Kenya Pipeline Company (KPC) to Treasury.

The government is also undergoing transition with ministry officials reluctant on committing to policies or commenting on issues.

Treasury Permanent Secretary Julius Muia on Tuesday remained mum on the exact time when the necessary communication will be sent to importers so that they can start clearing their cargo in Mombasa.

“Oversight of Kenya Railways was transferred to the National Treasury some two or so years ago,” said Infrastructure Permanent Secretary Paul Maringa.

The bureaucratic hiccups have caused confusion in routing new cargo and delays in diverting declared goods back t Mombasa that risks saddling importers with demurrage and storage costs.

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