Kenyans may soon experience a higher cost of living trickling down from importation delays. This will manifest in increased prices on goods.
Shipping lines have added charges to importers after delays have been experienced in offloading cargo at Mombasa port. The charges are expected to reflect on the prices of imported goods which most Kenyans rely on both at home and for businesses.
Importers have blamed the delays on the Integrated Customs Management System that was implemented to replace the 13-year old Simba system by the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) in conjunction with Kenya Ports Authority to smoothen transactions.
Shippers Council of Eastern Africa revealed that four ships are in line waiting to harbor resulting in delays. Port authorities fine importers for the delays which may trickle down to consumers.An Image of a cargo clearance officer supervising clearance at Mombasa portFile
A notice dated February 22, 2021, stated that importers will part with an extra Ksh15,000 for small shipping containers and Ksh30, 000 for the big ones.
Exporters will be charged Ksh5,000 and Ksh10,000 for the small and big containers respectively. The government however sheltered the system while acknowledging the hurdles experienced as a result.
“Indeed there is considerable frustration and bitterness, we as the government do realize that changes and transformation hugely disrupt existing operations and it is for this reason that the ability for government and private sector partner to cooperate and ensure that policies made are beneficial to all,” said East Africa Community Principal Secretary Kevit Desai.
KPA alleged that the delay at the port was due to the increasing cargo imported after Covid-19 pandemic restrictions were lifted.
The transport sector stakeholders also raised their concerns as the delays overlap their schedules and cause delays on their end.
“Increase in container detention fees as a result of delays occasioned by Covid-19 pandemic has taken a toll on us as transporters, we are also calling for a similar Covid-19 system to also facilitate the movement of cargo across-Border through road transport, “said Kenya Transport Authority chairman Peter Ombok.A Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) signage on a buildingFile
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