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Reprieve For Shippers As KPA Extends Free Storage Again

Reprieve For Shippers As KPA Extends Free Storage Again

August 20, 2021
August 5, 2021
The control tower at the Port of Mombasa, Kenya Ports Authority has extended a free storage period for shippers. Photo: KPA.

The control tower at the Port of Mombasa, Kenya Ports Authority has extended a free storage period for shippers. Photo: KPA.

Shippers have received reprieve after Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) extended free storage by three months as it seeks to make the port of Mombasa more attractive in the wake of increased competition in the region.

The extension period comes at a time when importers and exporters are grappling with an increase in the cost of doing business caused by effects of Covid-19. This will see shippers get up to 15 days of free storage at the port on imported goods.

The announcement was made this week by the KPA acting Managing Director, John Mwangemi.

The free storage period for domestic import-containers, which is currently four days, has been extended to five days with a waiver period for domestic export cargo going up from 9 days to 15 days.

The transit import containers at the internal container depot in Embakasi have received free storage of nine days from the current 14 days while those destined for export will get five more days from the current 20.

“Kenya Ports Authority wishes to announce to our customers and stakeholders that the extension of free storage period that we had granted earlier and which expired in July 2021 has further been extended,” said Mr Mwangemi.

The extension that had earlier been granted to shippers expired on July 20 2021, with the current waiver expected to run up to October.

The storage terms first came into effect in May last year, and ran for three months till August 18. They were then extended to November 13, as KPA moved to cushion importers, exporters and transporters from the impact the pandemic has had on the transport and logistics sector.

Mr Mwangemi said the extension period is subject to review after the validity period depending on the business dynamics.

Importers and exporters incur charges of between Sh3,000 and Sh9,000 per day for cargo that has stayed beyond the free storage period and more than 24 days, depending on the size of the container.

Containers released by the Kenya Revenue Authority and not collected after 24 hours are charged Sh10,000 and Sh20,000 per day for 20ft and 40ft respectively.

Traders at the port had last year requested KPA to give them free storage following the devastating effects of Covid-19, which increased the cost of doing business.

The free storage is part of the incentives that KPA has been extending to shippers as it seeks to make the Port of Mombasa competitive in the wake of heightened competition from the regional harbors.