Agencies involved in ship, cargo, crew and passenger clearance at the port of Mombasa will be linked to the single window system as Kenya moves to curb delays.
Speaking at a workshop in Mombasa on Kenya’s Coast, Maritime and Shipping Affairs Principal Secretary Nancy Karigithu said public authorities’ documents including procedures and Customs, immigration and health are among those to be streamlined.
“A large number of unnecessary paperwork and slow documentation processes are a serious danger to our competitiveness as a country and as a region given the wide geographical coverage of our port users,” said Ms Karigithu.
“But this will now be streamlined. By the time the ship is arriving in Mombasa all agencies involved in cargo clearance will now have the needed information and work much faster to release the ship from the port once linked to the Single Window System.”
Ms Karigithu said the government will implement the Convention on Facilitation of International Maritime Traffic, which aims to reduce bureaucracies at the port.
“We are moving towards developing our blue economy. We cannot afford the luxury of not being in tandem with international requirements,” said Ms Karigithu. “We have to be ahead of the park; the longer the processes, the higher the burden it places on our economy.”
Ms Karigithu said each of the agencies involved in the movement of imports and exports have developed their processes independently, which impact on the vessels.
“Our aim is to harmonies those procedures. If we can get one form in copies that give the information to all of us together then we will reduce bureaucracy, time spent at the port and the burden on ship captains,” said the PS, a maritime law expert.
The PS also defended the government’s directive that all un-nominated cargo be transported through the Standard Gauge Railway to Nairobi’s Inland Container Depot, saying it would ensure efficiency.
Container Freight Terminal owners and transporters had decried the loss of jobs due to the directive.