Kenya regulators begin pre-arrival cargo system to ease congestion

The Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) has begun to roll out of a Pre-arrival Cargo Clearance System in the port of Mombasa with the aim of easing congestion.

Importers are now required to clear their cargo before the vessel docks at the port,

KRA commissioner general John Njiraini described the move as “a very important step” in the authority’s quest to make Mombasa Port more attractive to investors and shippers, reducing the cost of doing business.

“We want to take the process a couple of steps back so that the lodging of documents and the payment of duties and other levies are paid before cargo arrives. By the time the Cargo arrives at the Port, the importer is in a position to take charge and remove the cargo,”

He said the move would help importers from paying demurrage charges.

The 2014 Mombasa Port Charter demands that 70% of cargo imported through the port of Mombasa be cleared under the Pre-arrival Cargo Clearance System by 2017.

Importers can now lodge clearing documents and process them up to seven days before arrival of a vessel.

Njiraini noted that “there are a couple of issues that we need to look at in terms of the supply chain and we have agreed to meet in a months’ time ,essentially we will have addressed issues to make it possible for them to clear their cargo before it arrives”.

There was an unsuccessful attempt to implement the initiative in 2014. The failure was blamed on importers’ failure to embrace the system.

Mombasa Port recorded 1.4% year on year growth in cargo throughput in H1 2016, registering a total 13.406m tonnes, up from 13.218m tonnes in H1 2015.