Press Center | Freight Shipping Logistics News
Clearing and forwarding agents say importers cannot budget for profit margins and benefits of reduced prices in the international market cannot trickle down to consumers following uplifted values of goods to raise duties. "Duty on imported containers and vehicles are almost twice for the last five months owing to raised valuations," complained a senior clearing and forwarding agent Peter Otieno. Otieno, said they have been directly affected since some importers have abandoned containers or vehicles or reduced imports. Costly hurdle "Goods take long to be cleared especially at the verification stage where there are several referrals which delay the process by five days to two weeks," he said. If goods are abandoned at the port, agents who act for importers do not earn commissions. Several verifications could be done on goods and referrals made to the Customs Number 5 office at the port leading to accumulation of storage charges for the goods. Clearing and forwarding agents say verification has become a tough and costly hurdle as alternation of documents attracts huge penalties. "Alternation of documents following typing errors has become costly. It used to be $ 10 (Sh760) but it now attracts as high as Sh60,000," said an agent. The agent showed Move It documents indicating that a container has been detained over valuation queries.The container has attracted Sh300,000 storage charges at a Mombasa private CFSs and could end up being abandoned. "Goods are bought in the international market using a letter of credit through banks and if their values are uplifted, then consumer prices go up. China has reduced prices owing to the global economic recession but this cannot be passed over to Kenyan consumers," said the agent.
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