Port users have rejected new levies proposed by the Mombasa County, terming them illegal.
In the Finance Bill 2014, the county plans to charge an export permit fee of Sh1,780 per tonne of cargo handled at the Kilindini Port and an import clearance fee of Sh1,780 per tonne of goods.
It also proposes to charge each ship Sh5,340 for inspection and Sh5,340 for spraying against vectors. Other charges are fumigation (Sh1,780 per tonne) and supervision and destruction of condemned goods (Sh1,780 per tonne).
Mombasa proposes to charge shipping lines a transport infrastructure development levy of Sh178 per tonne of cargo handled at the port.
Yesterday, the chief executive of the Shippers Council of Eastern Africa, Mr Gilbert Lang’at, termed the proposals illegal. He said the port was a national asset.
Mr Lang’at said it was against the law for the county to impose levies on shipping firms, importers and exporters, who already pay tax to the Kenya Revenue Authority. “Let the county chiefs know that its proposed levies will scare away shipping lines and other port users, bringing down the volume of cargo handled at the port of Mombasa,” he warned.
Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) Chairman Danson Mungatana yesterday said he was not aware of the county’s proposed port levies, since the two parties had never held talks on the matter.
He said it was unfair for the county to propose levies without involving KPA and other maritime stakeholders. “It’s a big surprise to me that the county has come up with new port levies without even consulting us over the matter,” he said.
Speaking to the Nation by phone yesterday, Mr Mungatana rejected the proposed levies, saying port users were complaining that existing charges were too high.
However, County secretary Hamisi Mwaguya said Mombasa deserved to charge levies because the port belonged to it. He said the county provided services to the port.
Finance executive Hazel Koitaba said the county had to collect revenue from the port to generate funds for development.
Source: Daily Nation
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