Press Center | Freight Shipping Logistics News
According to rules being drawn by the regulator, container freight stations, shipping agents and even clearing agents will have to file agreed charges between the parties.
“We want them to come up with a cost structure so that we know who charges what for the services they render because in the past some providers have taken advantage of their clients’ ignorance and overcharged,” said KMA director general Nancy Karigithu.
Due to the specialised nature of shipping business and lack of uniform charges, some operators have taken advantage of cargo owners with no idea of the fees due.
Ms Karigithu said that the authority will not control prices but is scrutinising 26 different charges - including the justification by some shipping lines to charge up to Sh1,600 ($20) for cleaning a container and Sh5,600 ($70) charged on a single bill of lading.
“Recently we had to intervene when a shipping agent overcharged a cargo owner by over Sh375,000 ($5,000). The client could not believe it when he learnt that the charges were unjustified,” said Ms Karigithu.
These fees have continued to make the port of Mombasa expensive for importers who pass on the extra charges to consumers, thus making imported goods expensive.
She said that those found to be contravening the regulations would face penalties that the authority is in the process of determining.
The Merchant Shipping Act was enacted last year and the authority - which is mandated to regulate industry players - is currently in the process of putting maritime sector in order by standardising all procedures.
Two weeks ago, Kenya was accepted on the coveted International Maritime Organization (IMO) White List, allowing the country to train seafarers.
PARASTATAL heads who signed the Mombasa port community charter risk being sacked if their agencies do not deliver on the contents of the new entity. The charter signed between the government and the private sector aims at improving the movement of cargo from the port into hinterland