Business
Ugandan importers fail to clear in time at Mombasa
Publish Date: Jul 07, 2014
Ugandan importers fail to clear in time at Mombasa
Any delays to clear goods at Mombasa translates into more costs incurred
  • mail
  • img
newvision

By Prossy Nandudu

The lack of knowledge about import procedures by traders and importers is increasing the cost of doing business on the part of Ugandan businessmen at the Kenyan port of Mombasa and within the East African Community (EAC) at large.

This observation was made by the representative of Ugandan business community in Mombasa, William Lusabya Kidima recently on the sidelines of the launch of the Mombasa community charter in Mombasa.

As a result, Ugandan businessmen fail to clear their goods in time, attracting penalties which further reduces the scale of would-be profits from any given consignment or container.

Kenyan president Uhuru Kenyatta attended the launch, during which he called on implementing agencies to ensure that the charter is put to use.

Kenyatta also called for closer monitoring of projects under the charter electronically for proper accountability.

“This is the only way we shall hold responsible implementing agencies accountable when objectives of the charter are not met to prevent cases where nice documents are shelved, claiming there is no money for implementing and yet East African Economies depend on the efficiency of this port through the charter for improved cost of doing business,” he said.

It is estimated that out of all the containers and goods auctioned at the port of Mombasa due to non-payment of charges that come along with delays in clearing, 99% of these belong to Ugandan traders.

“What happens is that Ugandan businessmen prefer paying for the shipped goods when the ship has docked, and yet by the time they discover the ship has docked through their agents at the port, it is like a month after it docked, meaning the goods could have already attracted penalties for overstaying at the port,” explained Lusabya.

Under normal circumstances importers are supposed to clear all charges of the goods as soon as they load them on the vessel from the country of imports, an issue that has been ignored by Ugandan importers.

“Instead of getting the shipping documents to Mombasa before the ship arrives, they wait until the ship has docked to send the documents. That is when they try to clear but by that time, the container has already has incurred penalties.”


Kenyan president Uhuru Kenyatta attended the launch of the Mombasa community charter in Mombasa

However delays in payment attract a surge charge through a process called remarshaling which is aimed at punishing those who fail to clear their containers in time.

When an importer doesn’t clear his goods in time, he/she is required to pay USD165 for a 40-foot container and USD110 for a 20-foot container on the first day after the nine-day grace period.

Starting on the third day after the grace period, importers pay USD70 for the following seven days. Then after the seventh day, the fee goes up to USD90 for the next day s until an importer clears his/her goods.

According to the Ugandan business community representative, the launch of the Mombasa Port Community charter will bring together all clearing agents and authorities at the port to find a way of working together so that some of the charges that importers pay in terms of penalties can be discussed collectively as a means of reducing the cost of doing business.

The chairman of the Mombasa Community charte, Gilbert Langat, explains that the charter seeks to provide an innovative monitoring and evaluation framework with a performance dashboard for ease in analysis, policy and operational decisions and interventions.

The charter was developed with support from Trade Mark East Africa (TMEA), aimed at facilitating trade in the region according to the Chris Kiptoo from TMEA.

“The charter will address some of the external constraints that might hamper successful implementation of other projects under the partnership,” said Kiptoo.

The statements, comments, or opinions expressed through the use of New Vision Online are those of their respective authors, who are solely responsible for them, and do not necessarily represent the views held by the staff and management of New Vision Online.

New Vision Online reserves the right to moderate, publish or delete a post without warning or consultation with the author.Find out why we moderate comments. For any questions please contact digital@newvision.co.ug

  • mail
  • img
blog comments powered by Disqus
Also In This Section
Gov’t to enact law against SACCOs money theft
Government is in the process of enacting a law that that will punish those found guilty of stealing people’s savings through the Savings and Credit Schemes (SACCOS)....
Japan MPs set out to promote Uganda’s tourism
Legislators from the Japanese parliament are to promote Uganda as a tourist destination in the East African region, as revealed by two Japanese MPs....
Fresh row hits $8bn railway deal
Fresh controversy is stalking the over $8b Standard Gauge Railway deal, with the company that lost the deal seeking audience with the President....
BATU ends tobacco leaf business
British American Tobacco Uganda (BATU) will discontinue its leaf growing and export business after 86 years with a new player set to enter the market at the end of the year....
Police close illegal micro finance; over sh20m in savings lost
Police in Njeru Town Council has closed an illegal micro finance bank over defrauding unsuspecting members of the public over sh20m...
More oil resources found in Albert region
The Petroleum Exploration and Production Department has said that the oil resource confirmed is now 6.5 billion barrels from the fields studied....
Do you think banning the sale of single cigarette sticks will help regulate tobacco production?
yes
No
Can't Say
follow us
subscribe to our news letter