Rwanda Private Sector Federation (PSF) has revealed that the process of solving the issues of clearing hundreds of Kigali-bound containers held at Mombasa and Dar-es-salaam is currently in high gear.
The development comes weeks after Rwanda officially wrote on June 22, to both Kenya and Tanzania Ports Authorities requesting them to waive the charges levied on the Rwandan importers’ containers which had not cleared overdue port and customs handling fees.
In our earlier story, we had indicated that the Dar-es-Salaam port hosted the biggest number of the overstayed cargo compared to Mombasa and Naivasha that piled up between February and May as a result of Covid-19 effects.
In two letters, it was indicated that this delay had been caused by the limited movement and delay in processing clearance paperwork in countries of origin, especially China and India.
On these grounds, and in-line with the earlier East African member states agreements on the need to ease Covid-19 challenges in cross-border movement, the Rwandan side asked that both countries waive 100% of the charges.
Reliable sources told KTPress that this resulted into all parties coming on the round table for negotiation on the way forward with each side presenting its arguments and concerns through this week.
In the wake of this, Stephen Ruzibiza, the CEO of PSF Rwanda told KTPress on Saturday that there has been progress in the discussions where both Kenya and Tanzania have shown willingness and support to help Rwandan importers out of the current position.
“The number of containers has since reduced and not 2000 as reported since some of them have been released. They (Kenya and Tanzania) have shown the willingness and have accepted to address our request,” Ruzibiza said.
He further said that some of the containers have been released from both ports at 100% waiver.
“We are remaining positive until next week when we will get more details on the final decision to be taken but so far we are impressed with the progress underway,” Ruzibiza said.
The PSF CEO said that details of the progress will be made public next week when they are also able to ascertain details on the exact number of containers released on a 100% waiver or those that require to pay a certain amount.
As a landlocked country, Rwanda largely depends on imported goods that come through the Mombasa and Dar ports.