KMA urges Kenya Ports to suspend docking ships garbage collection fee


A ship docked at the Port of Mombasa, Kenya on June 25, 2021. 

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

An interpretation of maritime law has split the Kenya Maritime Authority (KMA) and Mombasa County government after the devolved unit moved to gain from garbage collection charges from ships docking at the port.

KMA has asked the Kenya Port Authority (KPA) to suspend the collection of waste management charges from marine vessels which took effect Wednesday.

In a letter dated May 9, KMA Director General Martin Munga said garbage collection currently remains the duty of shipping agents.

“As indicated in our letter, the practice is that ships pay for the service based on the quantity and the type of wastes to be discharged. As it currently happens, whenever a ship intends to discharge garbage, it notifies the local ship agent who makes arrangements with a Nema-licensed waste transporter who is permitted by KPA to access the port to receive the garbage where the agent is then invoiced based on the service rendered,” said Mr Munga in the letter.

KMA says it is mandated to review tariff proposals preferred upon maritime service providers as against the service to be rendered to avoid unclear and or duplex charges being preferred to the industry resulting in rising costs of doing business and reducing competition of the Mombasa port.

“The collection and disposal of wastes from the ship according to the current practice is undertaken following consultation between KMA, KPA and Nema (National Environment Management Authority). The charges incorporated have not been linked to specific service provided by the County government as such not transparent and contrary to the provision of the constitution,” said the director general.

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