Kenya Port Authority (KPA) waived storage charges worth Rs 200 million on all Pakistani rice consignments, stuck at the Kenyan seaport due to license cancellation of two harbour yards.
The charges were imposed on Pakistan’s rice consignments of some 1,500 containers, which were held up at Kenyan seaport since January 18, 2016, when license of two port yards namely Auto Ports Container Freight Station (CFS) and Portside CFS were cancelled.
On behalf of Rice Exporters, Rafique Suleman, Chairman FPCCI Rice Export Committee and immediate past chairman Rice Exporters Association of Pakistan (REAP) reached Kenya in the first week of last month to resolve the matter and ensure timely release of held up rice consignments.
Suleman told Business Recorder via phone from Kenya that with the support of Pakistan High Commission Nairobi the issue had finally been resolved and KPA had fulfilled its promise of waiver. He informed that in a meeting held on February 17, 2016, KPA officials agreed to waive all demurrages and storage/re-marshaling charges may accrued on rice consignment stuck due to the cancellation of license of two yards.
Amir Mohyuddin co-ordinated a follow up meeting on February 29 with KPA officials for waiver of storage charges. The main agenda of the meeting was the procedural delays of Pakistani rice consignments and storage invoices being raised, he said.
“I together with Amir Mohyuddin held meeting with Madam Catherine Muturi Managing Director KPA, Soodi KIFWA Operation Manager KPA, Patrick GM Finance KPA and Brian development manager EATTA Trade, on Monday and accordingly discussed the issue of storage charges in detailed,” Suleman informed.
After discussion, the KPA officials assured full waiver on storage amounting to Rs 200 million imposed on all cargo from Pakistan that arrived during January 18, to February 15, 2016 and were held up due to the policy change, he said.
“Those who have already paid the storage charges will be refunded on presentation of full documentation and waiver request in writing. KPA also assured to speed up the release process and expedite the credit notes against the storage accrued,’ he added.
Suleman informed that so far some 1,000 containers of Pakistan rice had been released from the port and remaining 500 containers were in process.
He said that a deadline of 15th March 2016 has been set for the release of remaining rice consignments from KPA without any storage or additional charge. He, particularly, appreciated the role of Amir Mohyuddin Commercial Counsellor Pakistan High Commission and said that without his support it was difficult to achieve this task.
Meanwhile, Suleman and other office-bearers of REAP have thanked Eng. Khurram Dastagir Khan, Federal Commerce Minister, for taking prompt action on the issue and sending letter to top Kenyan Authorities.
“On behalf of REAP, we also appreciate the role of Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) and Raza Bashir Tarar High Commissioner of Pakistan in Nairobi for their active involvement to resolve this critical issue in the larger interest of rice export industry of Pakistan.
Source: Business Recorde