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Shippers decry high costs on down time

Shippers in Kenya have decried the high cost incurred when the State systems used are down at the Kenya Ports Authority, Kenya Revenue Authority and Kenya Bureau of Standards. According to the importers, whenever the system is down the government agencies just apologise, but when the delay happens on their part they are slapped with hefty penalties.

“The time spent on procedures at Kenya Ports Authority, KRA and Kebs increases the cost of demurrage and attracts other penalties that could be avoided if everything was working properly,” one of the stakeholders argued.

These system breakdowns are causing delays in the handling consignments in time, thus increasing the cost – in terms of time wastage and money charged,” said another importer. The importers were speaking yesterday during a one-day workshop for stakeholders to sensitise them on a Pre-Export Verification of Conformity (PVoC), KRA said the low uptake of cargo by the customers after customs clearance was a major concern.

Importers said mixing up of containers and other related issues, including when the system was down, is a major letdown to businesses. Joab Omole, KRA Manager, PVoC Customs and Border, said due to the challenges being encountered with the system they decided to replace it with the Integrated Customs Management System (ICMS).

Omole said the authority has improved its services and currently receives about 380 containers through the Standard Gauge Railways (SGR) and releases about 450 containers daily.