n a bid to attract business, the Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) has offered generous discounts and extension of free storage period for the traders who will use the Lamu port for the first one-year. The port will be launched today by His Excellency President Uhuru Kenyatta, when the first mega ship owned by Maersk calls at the port.
Charges for marine services have been slashed by 50 percent of the KPA’s tariff rates while those of stevedoring have been slashed by 40 percent, KPA has announced in a notice published in today’s press.
Loading and unloading of motor vehicles will enjoy a 40 percent discount while coasters carrying cargo from Lamu to Mombasa and vice versa shall be offered a 40 percent on the cargo handling charges.
Charges for shore handling and wharfage services- loading and discharging of domestic and transit cargo shall be offered a 40 percent discount.
On storage charges, transshipment cargo will enjoy a 30-day free period. A twenty-foot container will be charged US $10 between 31- 60th day while 40 ft container will attract US $20. Thereafter, 20ft containers and 40ft containers will attract US $20 and US $40, respectively.
Transit cargo will enjoy a 30-day free period. Between 31st-60th day, the containers will attract US$20 for a 20ft container while a 40ft container will attract US$40. Thereafter, a 20ft container and 40ft container will attract US$40 and US $80, respectively.
Domestic cargo will enjoy 15 free storage days. Between 16th- 18th, US $30 will be charged for a 20ft container while a 40ft container will attract US$ 60. Containers staying for the period between 27th-35th days will attract US$40 and US$80 for 20ft and 40ft containers, respectively. Thereafter, importers will pay US45 and US $90 for 20ft and 40ft containers, respectively.
Imports and committed export empty containers will enjoy a 15-day free storage period and thereafter will attract US$15 and US$22.5 for 20ft and 40 ft, respectively. Domestic motor vehicle will enjoy 15 days free storage period while transit and transshipment will enjoy 15- and 30-days free storage period, respectively.
The Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) has announced that it has completed a dry run for a cargo clearance system. KRA Marine Unit and Enforcement chief manager John Bisonga confirmed that the authority had installed both the Integrated Customs Management System (iCMS) and Simba Systems to ensure the 24-hour clearance systems remain uninterrupted.
“KRA has completed installing and testing our clearing systems where we have iCMS and Simba system running concurrently thus we do not expect any delays. On connectivity, we have two network backups apart from the available fiber optic cable thus we do not want to experience any connectivity hitches since we want to make Lamu Port a model port,” said Mr. Bisonga was quoted by local press.
The chief manager said KRA will extend the already paperless customs clearance being done at all points of entry and exit to reduce bureaucracies and inject a level of professionalism.
He said paperless customs clearance will ensure the decision-making process is quick, transparent, and simplified thereby reducing the time and cost of doing business.
“KRA has already waived the requirement and the use of manual folders for witnessing stuffing of our tea, coffee, spices, and herbs and this will encourage traders most from Mount Kenya to use Lamu Port which is closer to them than Mombasa Port. With the use of online technology, all customs operations shall be undertaken on a 24-hour basis and thereby increasing efficiency,” said Mr. Bisonga.
KRA has also deployed a mobile scanner to the port as well as the use of K9 from time to time depending on the risk parameters.
“KRA is alive to the fact that international criminal elements may try to use the port of Lamu for illicit activities, but we have deployed all the necessary resources both human and technological support in addition to its normal risk management strategies without interrupting the normal flow of business to curb the illicit trade,” said the officer.
On operations, Lamu Port General manager Abdullahi Samatar said all agencies are ready for the opening of the second commercial port on 20th May.