The Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) has banned the stripping of cargo containers at the port of Mombasa before onward conveyance by dhows to various consignees in Zanzibar.
The move is meant to curb sea smuggling where cargo is diverted in the ocean, finding its way into the local EAC market. Stripping involves offloading various small consignments from a single container.
As a result of cargo diversion, the volumes of cooking oil destined to Pemba and Ungunja have surpassed the consumption capacity of the two islands. KRA in December 2017, seized edible oil cleared at Old Port in the godowns of Mombasa, this points towards the diversion emanating from stripping.
Investigations by KRA and Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) reveal emerging risks and challenges regarding transshipment cargo stripped at the port of Mombasa. TRA has reported increased cases of smuggling adversely affecting Zanzibar islands of Pemba and Ungunja. Kenya through KRA also affirms prolonged risks posed by stripping of cargo at the Port of Mombasa.
To effect this ban on cargo stripping, no manifest amendments shall be allowed to change the status of goods. Where cargo is manifested for direct transshipment, the same shall be monitored and loading is done under customs supervision. Containers with cargo destined for Zanzibar will be re-directed to ports closer to the destination such as Dar es Salaam, Tanga or Zanzibar itself.
KRA will continue to liaise with the Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) to ensure that standard operating procedures and best practices on transshipment are implemented to protect and facilitate legitimate business.