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Logistics firm’s Mombasa facility gets port status

port of Mombasa
A ship arrives at the port of Mombasa. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

\Marine logistics firm Comarco Group is set to have its 16-acre Mombasa facilities designated as a private port, a move that has seen the company secure a series of lucrative contracts.

The company’s operations fall under the export processing zone (EPZ), allowing it to import equipment such as cranes and loaders duty-free besides receiving tax relief for repairs and maintenance of its vessels.

The majority of the work being undertaken by Comarco has been outside Kenya and the company’s three subsidiaries –Comarco Properties (EPZ) Limited (CPL), Kenya Marine Contractors (EPZ) Limited (KMC) and Comarco Supply Base (EPZ) Limited (CSB) were set up to take advantage of incentives offered in the special economic zones.

Comarco’s impending designation as a private port will now allow the company to import and export cargo for clients, making full use of its storage facilities.

The company says in a trading update that it has obtained the consent of the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) to gazette its Mombasa port area as an entry and export area for customs purposes by the Commissioner of Customs and Border.

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“This is a game changer for Comarco. The designation of the Comarco Port as a functional private port broadens our capabilities and opens up a raft of new opportunities,” the company’s chief executive Simon Phillips said in a statement.

“We are already seeing these benefits come through with the signing of two significant contracts.”

Comarco has, for instance, signed a contract with Samruddha Kenya Limited for the export of 500,000 tonnes of iron ore in bulk over a one year period. It has also finalised a contract with RK Sanghani Limited for the export of 200,000 tonnes of iron ore in bulk over a six-month period.

The company says the gazettement will facilitate negotiation and completion of similar scale long term contracts.

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