KMA to lock out ship­pers in wa­ter­tight con­tain­ers’ rules

Im­ports to Kenya will be weighed at the point of ori­gin be­fore ship­ments, fail­ure which ap­proval or regis­tra­tion of the ship­per may be with­drawn, says au­thor­ity’s boss

The Star (Kenya) - - News Business - WEITERE MWITA @MwitaMartin

Ship­pers have un­til the end of to­day to sub­mit details of meth­ods they in­tend to use in ver­i­fy­ing the weight and con­tent of con­tain­ers be­fore load­ing them into a ship.

This is in the lat­est move by the gov­ern­ment to seal tax leak­ages. Any ship­per of a packed con­tainer is re­quired to pro­vide its gross mass weight to the car­rier and port ter­mi­nal rep­re­sen­ta­tive.

Kenya Mar­itime Au­thor­ity is spear­head­ing the im­ple­men­ta­tion of the manda­tory amend­ment to the in­ter­na­tional law gov­ern­ing Safety Of Life At Sea, which came into force on July 1.

Un­der the SOLAS amend­ments adopted by the In­ter­na­tional Mar­itime Or­gan­i­sa­tion in Novem­ber 2014, “no con­tainer with­out ver­i­fied gross mass is to be loaded into the ship”.

“Among the ba­sic in­for­ma­tion to be sub­mit­ted are the equip­ment lo­ca­tion, cal­i­bra­tion cer­tifi­cate and busi­ness regis­tra­tion cer­tifi­cate,” KMA act­ing di­rec­tor gen­eral Cos­mas Cherop said in a pub­lic no­tice on Mon­day.

The ver­i­fied weight of the con­tainer must be stated in a signed ship­ping doc­u­ment to be sub­mit­ted in ad­vance to the ship­ping line agents and the port au­thor­ity.

Cherop said the mea­sure will help gov­ern­ment in­ter­cept un­der­val­ued cargo and stop con­tra­band from en­ter­ing or ex­it­ing the coun­try.

“Im­ports to Kenya will be weighed at the point of ori­gin be­fore ship­ments, fail­ure which ap­proval or regis­tra­tion of the ship­per may be with­drawn,” Cherop said.

This comes as the gov­ern­ment con­tin­ues to im­ple­ment a num­ber of mea­sures to col­lect more tax rev­enues and fight il­licit trade at the Port of Mom­basa.

Among them is the Pre-Ex­port Ver­i­fi­ca­tion of Con­form­ity to stan­dards pro­gramme which cov­ers all im­ports to Kenya, which came into ef­fect on Jan­uary 1.

Last week, the Kenya Rev­enue Au­thor­ity and clear­ing agents agreed to use a com­mon cargo val­u­a­tion process, end­ing a month-long stale­mate that had slowed the move­ment of con­sign­ments at the Port of Mom­basa.

The KRA had in­tro­duced new guide­lines which in­clude the use of trans­ac­tion value, val­u­a­tion us­ing iden­ti­cal goods, and trans­ac­tion value of sim­i­lar goods.

KRA com­mis­sioner gen­eral cus­toms and bor­der con­trol Julius Musyoki said the for­mula is aimed at curb­ing cargo mis-dec­la­ra­tion, con­ceal­ment and un­der­val­u­a­tion.


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