PUBLISHED ON September 1st, 2014

Players wrangle over new levy on imports at port

Stakeholders at the Mombasa port are wrangling over the introduction of a levy on imported containers and goods stored at dry ports or container freight stations (CFSs). Nyali MP Awiti Bolo has claimed that shipping lines at the port are levying about $2.5 (Sh219)Â for each imported container and goods transported to CFSs. He also claimed that foreign shipping lines illegally charge this money on the CFSs for transfer of their cargo from the port to the stations. Mr Awiti now wants this levy to be collected by the Kenya Ports Authority (KPA), claiming that legally that was the authority’s mandate in line with a past ministerial policy directive. But the authority denies this, arguing that its role in the matter was to ensure that goods were removed from the port immediately after docking there.

Yesterday, KPA denied any knowledge of the levy, saying if it exists, it must be based on private arrangements between shipping lines and CFSs. HANDLING GOODS KPA also clarified that there is a multi-sectoral committee at the port that decides which CFSs should handle goods from the port. But in a statement released by Awiti in Mombasa yesterday, the MP, who is a former chairman of the Kenya International Freight Warehouse Association, suggested that KPA should nominate local CFSs to receive goods on behalf of importers. Awiti appealed to Kenya Maritime Authority (KMA) Director General Nancy Karigithu to intervene as the regulator to prevail on KPA to collect the levy. “We want KPA management to start collecting this levy on behalf of KMA because the shipping lines are doing it illegally,” said Awiti. But Ms Karigithu clarified that KMA only benefits from the maritime shipping levy that is collected from shippers by Kenya Revenue Authority and denied knowledge of the charge on CFSs.

Yesterday, Kenya Shipping Agents Associated Executive Officer Juma Tela admitted that shipping lines were charging a $3 (Sh263) fee as commission.

Source URL: Standard Digital

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