State directs shippers to new system

Thursday, July 8th, 2021 00:00 | By
State Department of Shipping and Maritime Affairs PS Nancy Karigithu address delegates during the launch of Maritime Single Window system operations in Mombasa. System will enhance information flow at the port of Mombasa. Photo/PD/NDEGWA GATHUNGU

Kenya has directed all shipping lines and agents operating at the port of Mombasa to leverage the newly unveiled single window system to enhance port efficiency and facilitate trade.

The move came after the government implemented a single window system as part of efforts to address the perennial challenge of congestion that has seen importers incur losses due to demurrage charges.

Slow clearance

Most containers, mainly on transit, delay by between four and seven days due to slow clearance and high truck turn-around between Mombasa and key transit destinations of Kampala, Kigali, DR Congo and South Sudan.

Principal Secretary for Shipping and Maritime Affairs Nancy Karigithu said it will be mandatory for shipping companies to use the new system as Kenya tries to abide by International Maritime Organization (IMO) rules.

After six months of piloting, agents are now using the new system which allows shipping agents to electronically submit vessel pre-arrival and pre-departure declarations.

Developed by Kenya Trade Network Agency (Kentrade) in partnership with Kenya maritime Authority (KMA), the system will be used to prepare and submit vessel pre-arrival and pre-departure declarations electronically to the government agencies at the Port of Mombasa.

For easier data reuse

“The system addresses the numerous, unharmonised reporting obligations in a more coordinated and efficient manner by improving inter operational tasks between various systems, it makes it much easier to reuse data,” said Karigithu.

The move puts to rest delays of clearance of cargo at the port as well as create a good business environment for port users.

Kenya Ports Authority General manager operations Sudi Mwasinago, the transport and logistics sector will fully benefit from the system as the system will also facilitate arrival and departure of ships in all port harbours in Kenya.

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