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Better days ahead for cargo clearance at port

MY RIDE
By | September 23rd 2010

By PATRICK BEJA and WILLIS OKETCH

A new team at the umbrella freight forwarders’ organisation has vowed to restore order and expand the organisation.

The leaders said they have embarked on negotiations with stakeholders to ensure fair trade and low cost of doing business at Mombasa port.

The leaders at the helm of the Kenya International Freight and Warehousing Association (Kifwa) said they would intensify lobbying with Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA), Kenya Ports Authority (KPA), Kenya Maritime Authority (KMA), Kenya Shippers Council, Container Freight Stations and Kenya Transport Association (KTA) to save the maritime industry.

The new Kifwa national chairman Hezron Bolo said the team has formed a joint committee with KRA to address cargo clearance problems. In an interview following the recent election, Mr Bolo said they were upbeat about plans to reform the industry.

A crane offloads fertiliser from containers at the Mombasa port. The new Kifwa team has formed a joint committee with KRA to address cargo clearance problems. [pHOTO: FILE]

"As freight forwarders handling cargo on behalf of owners, we want to take negotiations with stakeholders to a new level and ensure Kenya and the East African regional trade through the port of Mombasa benefits," Bolo said.

national officials

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The other new national officials are vice chairman Mr Washington Muthamia, Mr Boaz Makomere (secretary), Mr Mohamed Aladina (treasurer) and committee members William Ojonyo and PJ Shah.

They were elected on August 30 in Nairobi and registered by deputy registrar of societies Mr Joseph Onyango. Kifwa become the only association for clearing and forwarding agents in the country about four years ago when the Association of Clearing, Warehouse and Freight Forwarders of Kenya (ACWFFK) was dissolved in a merger fronted by the KRA Commissioner General Michael Waweru.

The association represents more than 1,200 corporate members and is affiliated to the East African Freight Forwarders Association.

According to Bolo, the immediate task would be to bring together stakeholders to address the complaints of port users including landlocked countries of Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo and Southern Sudan.

The landlocked countries have complained about delays and high cost of doing business.

"We want issues on delays addressed. Our aim is to help KRA increase revenue collection and ensure the port is more efficient," he said.

The new leadership, he explained, will uplift the standard of professionalism among freight forwarding agents.

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