A week after East African transporters won a case against the Kenyan government's directive on the mandatory use of standard gauge railway, they have been hit by another hurdle: A special licence is required in order to pick cargo at the port of Mombasa.
Cargo transporters from the region are now required to apply for the C40 licence from the Kenya Revenue Authority at a fee of $200 per truck for the License for Conveyance of Goods under Customs Control in order to access the port.
The order was first issued last August when the Commissioner of Customs and Border Control informed all shippers and logistics stakeholders of its intention to implement the directive but it was suspended for further consultation.
In the notice, all stakeholders were urged to familiarise themselves with the provisions of the said sections and ensure compliance within 14 days from the date of the notice but a protest by transporters led KRA to suspend the order for further consultations.
Transporters term timing of the implementation of the suspended order a government move to control the number of trucks picking up cargo at the port, thereby ensuring the SGR continues hauling most of the cargo.
"I have 11 trucks meaning I have to pay $2,200 to get a licence for my trucks. It is to punish transporters after government lost the case," said Musa Haji, a transporter in Mombasa.
Truckers are required to submit a number of documents to KRA Customs and a $200 bank receipt as proof of payment before verification and certification. Other requirements are a duly completed form C39, certified copy of truck's logbook, copy of valid National Transport and Safety Authority inspection report, PIN and Tax Clearance Certificate.
Traders from Rwanda and Burundi cite non-tariff barriers on the Northern Corridor which made them shift focus to using Dar es Salaam port.