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The Inspector General of Police has acted on a presidential directive that there should be free flow of goods from Mombasa Port.
The Inspector General of Police has acted on a presidential directive that there should be free flow of goods from Mombasa Port.

Mr David Kimaiyo on Friday ordered that all road blocks on the Northern Corridor be removed from Monday next week to allow the movement of trucks ferrying goods to neighbouring countries.

The police boss also said Container Freight Stations, (CFSs), shipping lines and all stakeholders involved in cargo clearance should not use insecurity as an excuse for not operating round the clock.

“I have directed that all roadblocks along this route be removed so that vehicles can move without hindrance,” he said, noting that routine checks and patrols would be carried out as is normal with security operations.

“As for the CFSs, they are extensions of the port and if we are able to provide security at the port round the clock I don’t see why we should not do the same in the facilities,” he added.

In a raft of measures to improve efficiency in cargo clearance, the government also announced that CFSs would be allowed to handle transit and export goods. The facilities handled domestic cargo only.

But this came with a stern warning: The CFS operators will be liable for any contraband or smuggled goods handled at their facilities.

“We are not going to condone smuggling of goods and export of prohibited items such as ivory. The packing of goods will be supervised by customs officials and should a container be discovered even in China with ivory, it will be traced to the CFS from which it was loaded and everybody in that chain held responsible,” said Mr Michael Kamau, the Cabinet Secretary for Transport and Infrastructure.

Earlier, Commissioner of Customs Beatrice Memo had outlined the procedures to be followed for such goods.

The officials spoke during a stakeholders’ meeting at Bandari College in Mombasa, attended by representatives of government agencies, among them Kenya Revenue Authority, Kenya Bureau of Standards, Maritime Authority, Kenya National Highways Authority, Ports Authority and five key ministries such as Interior and National Government.

The meeting was a follow up on steps taken to improve cargo clearance at the port and smooth movement of goods on the Northern Corridor, following President Kenyatta’s directive two weeks ago.

The President formed a committee of all the stakeholders and mandated them to come up with measures of improving efficiency at the port and ensuring smooth movement of goods on the corridor, an important trade route for the country and land locked East African countries.