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will be weighed at the point of origin before shipments, failure which approval or registration of the shipper may be withdrawn, says authority’s boss
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will be weighed at the point of origin before shipments, failure which approval or registration of the shipper may be withdrawn,” Cherop said.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.
A container in which stolen Sports Range Rover 2015 model destined to Uganda was found