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KPA, KRA implement port reforms to enhance efficiency

The Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) and Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) are racing against time to implement port reforms aimed at turning around the port of Mombasa to be globally competitive.

During a visit to the Port of Mombasa last July, President Dr. William Ruto directed all government agencies working at the port to operate 24/7 and work seamlessly to enhance post-operation efficiency and boost revenue collection.

KPA and KRA were directed to work in tandem to facilitate international trade through the provision of bunkering services to vessels calling on Kenya’s ports and devise measures to prevent customs duty leakage and to guarantee the availability of fuel at the port.

Consequently, the two critical authorities held an inaugural historic joint board meeting at the Port of Mombasa on Friday, co-chaired by KPA chairperson Benjamin Tayari and his KRA counterpart Anthony Mwaura.

They said in a joint communiqué that they had resolved all bureaucratic issues facing bunkering as directed by the president.

“The respective boards have directed the two corporations to undertake regular surveillance to ensure that this initiative is not abused,” said Tayari.

They announced that there would be no verification of trans-shipment cargo destined for Zanzibar and that verification of export cargo would happen outside the port and not inside it.

“The president had also directed us to acquire new scanners within 90 days. We want to report that the process of acquiring modern scanners through a private initiative is still ongoing,” said the KPA Chairman.

The two entities also plan to install modern ICT systems that are scalable and integrated with other relevant ICT systems.

On his part, Mwaura said the institutions will revamp their communication departments to disseminate correct information to the public.

The corporations will also implement a framework to lodge manifests at the port of loading to facilitate the pre-arrival clearance of cargo and advance receipt of invoice duty.

Equally, a regulatory framework will be developed for the licensing and performance evaluation of Container Freight Stations (CFSs), while overstayed cargo with missing documents will be reshipped to the country of origin.

At the same time, the board of directors at the two bodies directed the Managing Director of KPA and Commissioner General of KRA to meet regularly to agree on issues of mutual interest and only escalate issues they had been unable to resolve to them.

Meanwhile, the two boards will be meeting quarterly, and the Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) will be incorporated into future meetings.

By Sadik Hassan

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