The Kenya International Freight and Warehousing Association has protested the frequent breakdown of the Kenya Revenue Authority and Kenya Ports Authority's electronic documentation systems. Kifwa national secretary Boaz Makomere said importers and exporters are losing millions of shillings daily due to the delays caused by the frequent breakdown of the simba and kwatos systems. "In the last four weeks, clearing agents have been unable to declare or release shipments consigned for import or export market on time due to recurrent and prolonged downtime on the KRA and KPA electronic systems," Makomere said.
He claimed the downtime due to the 'sporadic system failure' of the two runs in excess of 10-12 hours a week. However the KRA said the figure is exaggerated. KRA's senior assistant commissioner Fatma Yusuf said there haven't been many system failures in the said period that amounts to the downtime quoted. "That's not right. I don't think there were that many. My office has not received any complaints over that," said Fatma.
Makomere said, in a statement on Monday, that shippers, mostly importers, lose about Sh20 million daily on storage and demurrage charges. He said "most of these shipments are cleared well after the free period granted by the KPA has expired". The Star could not get comment from the KPA as calls to public relations manager Bernard Osero went unanswered. Text messages from the Star were also unanswered.
Makomere said major exports like tea, are the most affected. He called for quick action from the relevant authorities to rectify the worrying situation. "The situation is indeed worrying especially when we consider the huge losses the logistics industry and the general trade suffered in the first quarter of this year due to congestion at the Port," Makomere said.