mplementation of Single Maritime Window System to process documents issued by the Shipping lines at Mombasa port is expected to be fully rolled out in the coming days after 3 months of piloting.
Piloting started in November last year with six shipping lines in a move that is expected to significantly improve ships clearing and turnaround at the port of Mombasa. KenTrade is providing technical expertise and is implementing the project with the Kenya Maritime Authority (KMA), the industry regulator.
The two agencies have been carrying out user testing during the period of piloting. Processing of the ships has over the years remained partially manual due to lack of standardisation in documentation.
The International Maritime Organization (IMO) mandatory requirement is meant to facilitate ship clearance procedures by providing a single online portal for the declaration of information on the arrival, stay and departure of ships between the shipping line/agent and the approving government agencies involved in the process. IMO has already listed seven mandatory automated forms for pre-arrival clearance by various government agencies.
Kenya started implementing this requirement in April 2018. IMO requires national governments to introduce electronic information exchange between ships and ports, which came into effect from 8 April 2019. This is aimed at making cross-border trade simpler and the logistics chain more efficient for the more than 10 billion tons of goods that are traded by sea annually across the globe. It will improve ship’s sea to shore handling, enhance ship turnaround time and compliance.
This will reduce or eliminate the manual, decentralized, duplicated and unnecessary lengthy processes in the maritime sector which is affecting the ships turnaround time and increased costs at the port of Mombasa. 122 countries in the world have already ratified this convention.
The requirement, under International Maritime Convention’s (IMO’s) Convention on Facilitation of International Maritime Traffic (FAL Convention), is part of a package of amendments under the revised Annex to the FAL Convention, adopted in 2016.
“We have finalized the user testing pushing piloting process at the tail end. The response has been very positive and we do not anticipate many challenges once the system is fully running,” Chief Executive Officer Mr Amos Wangora said today when he addressed the second virtual meeting to update the stakeholders on the progress of the KenTrade’s projects for trade facilitation.
“The new FAL Convention requirement for all Public Authorities to establish systems for the electronic exchange of information related to maritime transport marks a significant move in the maritime industry and ports towards a digital maritime world, reducing the administrative burden and increasing the efficiency of maritime trade and transport,” said IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim in an earlier press release.
Data from the Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) shows the Mombasa port’s overall throughput was 34.44 million tonnes in 2019 compared to 30.92 million the previous year, marking a growth of 11.4 percent, which was brought in by slightly over 20 shipping lines- at an average of about 35 ships every week.
The Kenya Ports Authority’s (KPA) vessel-calling report shows that Denmark’s Maersk Line topped the list with a 35 per cent share of container volume in Mombasa, a margin of 19.9 to the Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC), the closest rival.
Maersk brought 185 ships to the port trading a total of 457,685 TEU for both imports and exports, according to the report.
Mediterranean Shipping Company had 131 vessels call at the port of Mombasa, trading a total of 198,451 TEU for both imports and exports, hence controlling a 15.2 per cent share of container throughput.
CMA CGM had 59 of its ships call at the port to trade a total of 98,398 TEU, translating into a 7.5 per cent share. The CMA CGM vessels carried 50,616 TEU of full imports and 2,626 TEU of empty imports, 11,462 TEU of full exports and 33,694 TEU of empty exports.
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