To move cargo, a lot of parties are involved. This is why an importer or exporter approaches a company like Regional Logistics, to advise him/her on one point of entry. However sometimes things do not go as planned, in that case it is always good to know which party is responsible for what exactly.
KPA (Kenya Ports Authority): this organization runs the port of Mombasa and organizes the berthing and loading/offloading of vessels. Within its boundaries, all other parties operate to clear and deliver cargo either to a vessel (exports) or from a vessel (imports). Their counterparts in the airports are the airport authorities and handling companies. Apart from controlling all port operations, they have the right to charge storage and handling fees to importers/exporters especially if cargo is not moving through fast enough and elapses its free days. To avoid this, preparation of any logistics operation is required.
Customs (Kenya Revenue Authority): this government institute is linked to the respective Ministry of Finance and has the right to levy duties and taxes on cargo (mostly imports though few exports are taxed as well). Inevitably any cargo movement that comes into or exits a country has to involve the customs authorities. Apart from duties and taxes they can levy penalties for not complying with the extensive regulations or misdeclaring cargo or cargo values. As part of the government, their rulings are law hence to avoid an argument, it is better again to plan your import/export accordingly.
Container Freight Station: the container freight stations are private depots under customs control which are extensions of the port. As such they are allowed to transfer cargo from the port to their depot and charge client the handling and storage as per the KPA tariff. This has been allowed to decongest the port which has been facing challenges to cope with its growth. For Mombasa port, these CFS receive the cargo destined for the local market based on either the allocation per vessel by the port or as consigned on the shipping documents. A variant of these are the Inland Container Depots which are basically the same but then at destination, not from the port. Cargo moves under customs control to the inland container depot from where final clearance can take place. It is important to know that not all CFS and ICDs are operating to the same standard. so to ensure proper cargo handling, you should ensure your cargo is handled by a reputable CFS like Regional Logistics Centre (RLC) CFS.
Rift Valley Railways (RVR): RVR is the regional organization that manages both the railways and equipment in Uganda and Kenya. They are basically the sole provider of rail transport to the general importers/exporters contrary to road transport where there is a wide choice of transporters.
Shipping line: Shipping lines take care of ocean freight from port to port. Their counterparts in airfreight are of course the airlines. Of specific importance to importers and exporters is the issuance of the official shipping documents that are done by them: bill of lading for sea freight or airway bill. The original shipping documents are negotiable which means anyone holding them holds a title to their cargo. Therefore these documents have to be issued with care and handled responsibly.
Clearing agent: A clearing agent has a license which allows it to make declarations in the customs system and usually also transact with shipping lines and the port authorities. From this position, they are well placed to handle with all the above mentioned parties to enable movement of cargo. Because of the convenience of having one point of communication and the need for professionalism, large clearing agents will also handle the transportation element on your behalf with their own fleet or use reliable hauliers. By extension they can also book sea freight or airfreight on your behalf, or even pack/sort and distribute your goods.
STANDARD OPERATING PROCEDURES (SOP)
Regional Logistics Centre CFS has come up with a set of rules which must be adhered to while at the facility.
Failure to observe these rules will result to safety violation and may lead to revocation of your privilege to access the facility.
No discrepancy in the documents is allowed.
All trucks delivering cargo from our terminal MUST be registered with us for cargo security purposes. This exercise is free.
Vessel Registration, Seafarers Application, Vessel Inspection Application, Maritime Service Providers Licences, National Marine Spills Response Contingency Plan, Conventional Cargo Operations, Container Terminal Operations. Contact our office for more details on logistics related information or get in touch on our social handles for more
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