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State moves to deal with delays at border posts

Martin Mwita @MwitaMartin

The government is mulling the reduction of the number of State agencies involved in cargo verification processes, in a renewed effort to address delays at ports of entry and border posts.

East African Community and Regional Development Cabinet secretary Adan Mohamed yesterday said discussions are currently at the ministerial level to have only four agencies involved in the process.

They are Kenya Ports Authority, Kenya Revenue Authority, Kenya Bureau of Standards (Kebs) and Kenya Railway Corporation which is currently overseeing cargo evacuation through the Standard Gauge Railway.

The move, Adan said, will reduce the number of agencies involved in cargo handling processes (mainly verification) from 27.

National Assembly

These will see Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service (Kephis), Port Health Services, Anti-Counterfeit Agency, Department of Weights and Measures, among others kicked out of the port. A proposal is expected to be tabled in Parliament next week as the government seeks the national assembly’s approval on the move before its implementation.

The ministry is also keen to reduce frequencies in 100 per cent cargo verifications where Kebs will be required to accept all Certificates of Conformity issued by its contracted agencies at the point of origin.

If approved, the move will affect all ports, Inland Container Deports and border points where long and tedious verification processes have been blamed for delays in clearing of cargo.

Adan said experience at border points when goods are coming in or going out has been painful because of significant number of operators.  “We have 27 agencies operating at ports today all wanting to do checks.”

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