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Inside KRA’s plan to enhance Lamu Port trade facilitation

By Fredrick Obura | May 19th 2021
Comarco Tag boat towing barge carrying two Rubber Tyred Gantley cranes under Kenya Revenue Authority mobile scanner spotted at the Likoni Ferry Channel on Monday, 17 May 2021, while leaving the port of Mombasa to the port of Lamu. The towing tag will be cruising at a speed of 5 to 6 knots and is expected to arrive on Tuesday early afternoon. President Uhuru Kenyatta will commission the new Lamu Port on 20th May 2021. [Kelvin Karani, Standard]

The Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) has finalised plans to enhance trade facilitation and fast-track cargo clearance at the New Lamu Port ahead of its launch.

Lamu Port starts operations on Thursday with the arrival of two vessels - Mv Cap Carmel and Mv Seago Bremerhavel.

Both ships will arrive from Mombasa and Dar-es-Salaam ports and dock at the new harbour on Thursday.

President Uhuru Kenyatta is expected to lead government officials and players in the maritime industry in commissioning the first berth as minimal operations start.

This signals the start of commercial activity at the Lamu Port, known for its deep and long berths that can accommodate big ships.

In a statement, the Kenya Revenue Authority said its office in Lamu has been equipped with the necessary infrastructure including connectivity to access all the Customs, KENTRADE and Kenya Ports Authority systems.

The Authority says it has also deployed a team of experienced officers at the Lamu Port to clear the two Maersk shipping line vessels namely Cap-Carmel and Mv Seago Bremerhaven expected to make maiden calls at the new Lamu Port on Thursday.

The estimated time of arrival (ETA) for Cap-Carmel at the Lamu Port is 5 am, which will thereafter sail to the Port of Salalah in Oman.

On the other hand, MV Seago Bremerhaven is expected to arrive the Port of Lamu on Friday at 0600 hrs.

The two vessels shall be accorded preferential Pre-Arrival Clearance through the new Integrated Customs Management system (iCMS) which is already installed at the Lamu Port.

To facilitate safe evacuation of transit cargo to Ethiopia and South Sudan, the Authority has completed the geo-fencing of the twin Corridors of the Lamu – Garsen – Witu – Hola – Garrissa – Modika – Modogashe – Isiolo -Moyale and Lamu – Garsen – Witu – Hola – Garissa – Thika – Isiolo - Moyale.

Similarly, the Authority has geo-fenced Lamu-Mombasa corridor to facilitate transhipment cargo. These corridors are important arteries that will link the Northern Corridor to South Sudan.

A team from KRA’s Regional Electronic Cargo Tracking (RECTS) unit has already being deployed at the Port to ensure that all trucks transporting the cargo through the Port are armed with seals to track and monitor all transit/transhipment cargo through the Port of Lamu.

Additionally, a mobile scanner has been deployed at the facility to promote non-intrusive inspection of all the goods being imported through Lamu Port.  


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