System failure stalls cargo clearing at Mombasa port

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By Patrick Beja

Clearing of goods in the country has slowed down since last Monday following stalling of a computer system.

Clearing and forwarding agents said goods have piled up and feared paying huge storage charges unless Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) waived them. Speaking on phone from Nairobi yesterday, Kenya International Freight and Warehousing Association (Kifwa) National Chairman Gerald Kagumo said lodging of the Import Declaration Form (IDF) had failed since Monday.

“The orbus component of the Simba 2005 system has collapsed. It could not process our documents while storage charges of goods is rising,” said Kagumo. A customer care officer at the headquarters in Nairobi Christine Oyugi, confirmed the system experienced technical problems since Monday.

“The database of our system had some technical problems and our staff have been working on it. It is expected to be operational any time from now,” she said. KRA Deputy Commissioner in charge of marketing and communications Kennedy Onyonyi also confirmed the hitch but referred us to the customer care officers. Meanwhile, Kifwa said it has embarked on consultations with KRA over the suspension of more than 100 clearing and forwarding agents.

Kagumo said some of the agents were suspended from using KRA Simba 2005 system following claims of forging documents to divert transit vehicles into the local market.

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