Win for Mombasa as KPA starts to collect levies from ships, lories

Cargo ship Proteus Jessica at the Port of Mombasa, March 21, 2024. [Omondi Onyango, Standard]

Mombasa County government could start collecting parking and solid waste management fees from ships and trucks inside the port.

In a notice, Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) indicated that effective May 15, it will start charging at least Sh27,000 ($200) for solid waste management from ships calling the port on behalf of the county government.

KPA Managing Director William Ruto said the Mombasa Solid Waste Management (Amendments) Act 2023 mandates the county to levy charges for solid waste management on ships calling at the Port of Mombasa.

Captain Ruto said the ships will pay $2 (Sh270) per one hundred tonnes based on a gross registered tonnage and that the minimum charge shall be $200 (Sh27,000).

“The fee structure entails $2 per 100 tonnes based on a gross registered tonnage of a ship with a minimum charge of $200 (Sh27,000) and a maximum of $1,500 (Sh199,500) for every seven days,” said Ruto in a notice to port users.

At least 1,500 ships dock at the port of Mombasa every year. If all the vessels discharge the waste at the facility, Mombasa will earn over Sh40 million from waste management at the port.

However, KPA said that ships owned or operated by the government and are not engaged in commercial transactions are exempted. Also exempted are vessels owned by KPA.

Others exempted include authorised ferries plying exclusively within the harbour, ships less than five hundred gross registered tonnage, and ships trading between ports in Kenya.

Dredgers or similar vessels whose ordinary course of navigation does not exceed beyond the port limits and vessels at stream or anchorage, are also exempted.

‘’All port users are thus requested to take note of and fully cooperate with KPA in enforcing Mombasa County Solid Waste Management (Amendment) Act 2023,’’ Ruto said.

KPA will also collect parking fees from heavy commercial vehicles used within the precincts of the port for the county government.

“KPA will ensure efficient and effective collection of parking fees from heavy and commercial vehicles operated within these areas with effect from May 15,’’ Ruto announced.

The parking fee collection is also applicable to Grain Bulk Handling, AGOL Limited, empty container depots, refineries, and other port users who utilise port terminals without accessing port premises.

At least 2,000 trucks pick up or drop containers daily in Mombasa. The county charges small lorries of up to five tonnes a parking fee of Sh300 daily or Sh80,400 annually.  

Vehicles of between five and 10 tonnes pay Sh1,000 daily or Sh312,000 annually. They used to pay Sh156,000 before.

Mombasa Governor Abdulswamad Nassir came up with a bill to collect levies from the port immediately he took over in 2022, to enhance the county government’s revenue.

In the bill, Nassir wanted international ships to be charged  $1000 (about Sh133,000) for port health services while local vessels were to pay $20 (about Sh2,660).

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