Port of Mombasa in crisis as Kenyan Revenue Authorities stops issuing Electronic Cargo certificates
Biztech Africa spoke to Flevia Gekone, executive officer at EPAK who confirmed that the KRA has stopped the signing of the certificates that enable transporters to move transit goods. Gekone explained, “This has naturally affected our Members’ businesses and flow of goods seeing as the parallel system being introduced by KRA does not have capacity at the moment to arm and track all transit cargo within our borders.”
The problem began with the suspension by the KRA of signed ECTS certificates for eight cargo tracking companies. This has resulted in the inability to monitor cargo and is causing huge losses.
KRA justified their actions by claiming allegations against the firms on failing to monitor cargo as required and described how several firms have been dumping cargo along the Northern Corridor leaving Kenyan traders with losses. KRA also explained how it will be adopting the new Regional Electronic Cargo Tracking Seals (RECTS) which will be provided directly by the government from June 30th, 2020.
The eight firms that have been affected by the dismissal have been seeking help from the KRA for about two months, since the suspension began. These companies say the taxman discontinued signing the ECTS certificates without any formal correspondence since the end of February 2020.
According to EPAK, failing to certify the companies has reduced the movement of cargo from Mombasa, with hundreds of containers lying at Container Freight Stations. This has caused many additional expenses such as storage charges and demurrage costs plus breaches of contracts with transporters and customers.