In a move aimed at speeding up the movement of cargo at the Port of Mombasa, the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) has begun the roll out of the Pre-arrival Cargo Clearance System (PVOC).
Speaking at the Port of Mombasa, Kenya Revenue Authority Commissioner General Mr John Njiraini described the move as a very important step in the Authority’s quest to continuously make Mombasa Port more attractive and reduce the cost of doing business for investors.
The Commissioner General said KRA is fully committed to the implementation of the 2014 Port charter that requires 70% of cargo imported through the port of Mombasa to be cleared under the Pre-arrival Cargo Clearance System by 2017.
“ We want to take the process a couple of steps back so that the lodging of documents and the payment of duties and other levies are paid before cargo arrives. By the time the Cargo arrives at the Port, the importer is in a position to take charge and remove the Cargo from the Port and avoid paying demurrage charges’’, he said.
“ We have agreed to start the process of implementing the system. There are a couple of issues that we need to look at in terms of the Supply chain and we have agreed to meet in a Months’ time ,essentially we will have addressed issues to make it possible for them to clear their Cargo before it arrives,’’ he added.
The implementation comes just months after KRA signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) that will facilitate the establishment of a regional Electronic Cargo Tracking System (ECTS). The system electronically monitors cargo goods near real time via the import and export route. It gives full control to Customs Officials as it moves along the supply chain route from source to destination and assist in the enforcement of tax laws, as well as revenue collection.
Meanwhile the Port of Mombasa is set to become a herb of shipping trans-shipment following the decision by KRA to shelve trans-shipment bonds and allow Shipping lines to lodge their own entries. A move which has been openly welcomed by stakeholders in the shipping industry who foresee more transshipment business coming to the Port of Mombasa.
“This is a big incentive that can attract Shipping lines that avoided Mombasa Port for trans-shipment Purposes’’ Mr Juma Tellah,The Chief Executive Officer of the Kenya Ships Agent Association said.