Press Center | Freight Shipping Logistics News
The Kenya International Freight and Warehousing Association (Kifwa) has warned that prices of commodities were set to rise as the clearing process would be expensive.
“The Government should come up with a system where we are not forced to pay double charges to both KPA and Kenya Revenue Authority after 21 days,” said Mr Peter Otieno, the Kifwa Mombasa branch chairman.
Importers would now be expected to pay up to $45 (Sh3,060) and $90 (Sh6,120) per day for the 20 and 40 foot containers, respectively, if they stay at the port for over 30 days.
In the past, agents would start paying a daily flat storage charge of $25 (Sh1,700) and $37.5 (Sh2,550) after a seven-day free period up to the 21st day when customs warehouse charges would be effected.
KPA operations manager Joseph Atonga defended the charges, saying, they were intended to discourage importers and agents from keeping their cargo at the port for too long. “In the past, some agents have circumvented charges by leaving containers to stay for over 21 days when customs storage charges are due and later apply for a waiver from KRA. They would then collect their goods without paying our charges,” he said.
“What we are saying is that people should try and collect their goods within the seven-day free period. Overstayed cargo has continued to cause congestion at the port,” he added.
“We are not in the business of storage. What it means is that those who clear their cargo faster will enjoy reduced rates, while those who let it stay for longer periods will pay more,” said Mr Atonga.
He said importers had taken advantage of the initial flat rate, preferring to store their cargo at the port as it was cheaper than at private storage facilities and was more secure.
The authority last week said the charges would accelerate the speed of cargo clearance at the port.
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