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Clearing agents decry transfer of goods to ICD

Murimi Mutiga @murimimutiga

Clearing and forwarding agents have protested government’s decision to transport all upcountry-bound imports on the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) to the Inland Container Depot (ICD) in Nairobi.

The cargo agents are threatening to boycott clearing and forwarding services at the port of Mombasa and Container Freight Stations (CFS) to force the government to recede the decision.

Speaking yesterday, some of the agents said they were shocked to learn that some of their cargo, meant to be cleared in Mombasa, had already been taken to Nairobi without their consent or that of shippers.

“Some of us had been given containers to clear by our clients but after processing all the documents, we realised that the cargo is at the ICD in Embakasi,” said Andrew Mwiti, a cargo agent.

Kenya International Freight and Warehousing Association (Kifwa) has also rejected the decision and asked Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) Managing Director Catherine Mturi to stop the “illegal” release of cargo to the SGR without consent of importers and their agents.

Kifwa national secretary Ahmed Shimbwa claimed that KPA had stopped nomination of all cargo destined to upcountry to CFS. However, it has emerged that only unnominated containers consigned to upcountry importers have to be railed to ICD Embakasi by SGR for final clearance.

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