New Mombasa port charges draw outrage from importers

A container terminal at Mombasa Port. Importers are outraged at the decision by the Kenya Ports Authority to raise fees for users of the facility. FILE PHOTO

What you need to know:

Car importers most affected as stakeholders say they were not consulted.

Kampala-Importers in Uganda are outraged following an increase in cargo handling tariffs by the Kenya Ports Authority (KPA).
According to a communication from KPA-Mombasa offices, there will be a 5 per cent increase for loading and discharging of Saloon, Station Wagon and Vans (not exceeding 1.5 tonnes) effective March 15.
This means importers will now pay $73.50 (Shs180,810) up from the current $70 (Shs172, 000) for the above vehicles.

In an interview with the Daily Monitor, Ms Jennifer Mwijukye, the managing director of Unifreight, a cargo handling and freight-forwarding company, said they were not consulted about the new changes.
“We were not consulted as users of the port who contribute to 75 per cent of the transit cargo in the port,” Ms Mwijukye said.

In the new arrangement, tariffs for handling of self-propelled units at the Container Freight Station (CFS)-Shore Handling Saloon, Station Wagon, Vans and Cars (not exceeding 1.5 tonnes) have also gone up to $83.50 (Shs205,410) from $80 (Shs196,800), thus indicating a 4.4 per cent increment.

Additionally, self-propelled units (imports or exports) for the above mentioned cars will also attract a $67.50 (Shs166, 050) tariff up from $65 (Shs147, 600), indicating 4 per cent increase.

“The new tariffs were made in accordance to the changes in the operations of the business environment and are aimed at making the current tariff more competitive,” a KPA communication said.
When this newspaper contacted Kampala City Traders Association spokesperson Issa Ssekitto, about the development, he expressed ignorance about the new charges.

“It’s so disappointing that all these years as stakeholders; we are still not consulted when tariffs are being reviewed. We thought being part of the East African Community, we would have a big say in the operations of the port,” Mr Ssekitto said.

Reduced Charges
However, heavy duty vehicles like buses, trucks, tractors, folk lifts not exceeding 10 tonnes will be paying 20 per cent less from $500 (Shs1.2 million) to $400 (Shs984,000). Construction vehicles and heavy duty equipment which have been paying $800 (Shs1.9 million) will now attract $680 (Shs1.6 million) indicating a 15 per cent reduction.

Under the shore-handling the buses, trucks, tractors, folk lifts not exceeding 10 tonnes will be paying 12 per cent less from $665 (Shs1.6 million) to $580 (Shs1.4 million) , while construction vehicles and heavy duty equipment will now be paying $950 (Shs2.3 million) down from $1,065 (Shs2.6 million).


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