A vessel that was ready to sail from Mexico with a consignment of white maize has been stopped while another has had to divert to a different country after the government refused to extend an import window that millers have termed too short.
The two vessels were carrying 40,000 tonnes of maize and were to sail to Mombasa only to change course after the government ruled out extension of the discounted duty window.
One of the millers had booked Atlantic, a shipping company but had to cancel when it became apparent that there would be no extension.
Kavo Holbud, which had started sailing on April 30 has been diverted as it cannot make it to Mombasa before the May 30 deadline.
The millers were set to pay a reduced duty of 14 percent for white maize and 10 percent for yellow variety down from the usual 50 percent on grain coming in from outside East Africa.
“We have received confirmation that there will be no extension of the window that has been gazetted and we have come to a decision that we shall not make imports. It is worth noting that the average time from order to vessel arrival from Mexico is 60 to 70 days,” said millers.
Millers, in a letter to Treasury Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yatani last week, argued that the given time was not sufficient and that the earliest the first ship would dock at Mombasa if importation would have started on April 20 when the gazette notice was done, is mid-June.