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Forklift arranging containers at the port of Mombasa. Clearing agents wants verification of imported goods expedited to ease congestion.
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Clearing agents have challenged the Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) to allow cargo that has stayed for a long period at the port of Mombasa and at the Nairobi Inland Container Depot (ICD) to be cleared unconditionally within the next two weeks.

They want KEBS to borrow a leaf from Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) and Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) who have given a waiver of storage charges and customs-bonded warehouses for cargo that has stayed uncollected for long period at both port facilities to ease congestion.

The agents want KEBS to follow suit and fast track the verification and release of containerized cargo and goods at both the port of Mombasa and at the Nairobi ICD.

They complained that the dry port (ICD) in Nairobi is getting congested as thousands of containers remain uncollected partly due to the stringent verification exercises by KEBS

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Led by the Kenya International Freight and Warehousing Association (KIFWA) national chairman William Ojonyo, they applauded the government’s move of advertising the waiver in local dailies.

Mr. Ojonjo said he hoped the two state corporations were not playing a public relations exercise through the waiver notices in the local newspapers.

He said the move by KPA and KRA was a good gesture and urged KEBS to emulate it so that cargo which had stayed for long is cleared unconditionally at both port facilities.

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He was reacting to two notices to the public in the daily newspapers by both KPA and KRA to all port stakeholders of a waiver of storage charges and customs warehouse rent for goods and cargo that has not been collected for the past 21 days or more.

The clearing agents’ national chairman urged shipping agents to waive their charges for importers to be in line with the government gesture.

He urged the association members and importers to take advantage of the government notice to ensure the cargo is cleared within the 14 days grace period.

“Let the state corporations at both port facilities cooperate with stakeholders to ensure the waiver period bears fruit to decongest the facilities as envisaged,” said Ojonyo.

According to the notices in the newspapers importers have been cautioned that any cargo that remains uncollected at the expiry of the waiver period will be auctioned.

The public notice called for the cooperation of all stakeholders through responding quickly in order that they can contribute significantly towards enhancing operational efficiency at the cargo stacking yards and speedup turnaround time of rail services between Mombasa and the hinterland.

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