Category Archives for "Blog"

Oct 21

AFRICA SHIPPING LOGISTICS ISSUING ECTN FOR ALL SHIPMENTS TO BURUNDI

By sowmedia | Blog

New Electronic Cargo Tracking Note [ECTN] regulations is already under enforcement Burundi-Flagin Burundi. According to Burundi Customs official’s ECTN commencement came into being as from May 2014 as per information from Burundi Customs officials:

  • ECTN is issued at origin and is compulsory;
  • ECTN is checked before cargo reaches Burundi borders;
  • If cargo is sent to Burundi without an ECTN the Consignee is liable to cover penalties;
  • Penalties range between $10,000 and $50,000;
  • Official document from OBR regarding ECTN will be issued and circulated shortly;
  • Taxe de Surete / Security Charges has already been implemented for all imports @ 1.15 % of the commercial value.

Africa Shipping Logistics is an APPOINTED AGENT in Europe and World over and fully compliant to issue out ECTN for all your import shipments destined for Burundi. Please call us: +31 10 476 02 41 or email: info@africashippinglogistics.com for assistance with your cargo ECTN and thus ensure that you are compliant!

Sep 16

SOUTH SUDAN BANS FOREIGN WORKERS DESPITE LOOMING FAMINE

By sowmedia | Blog

Juba (AFP) | September 16, 2014

SSAuthorities in war-torn South Sudan announced Tuesday a ban on foreign workers, including aid agency staff, and ordered their jobs to be given to locals.

There was no immediate explanation for the ban, which comes as NGOs warn of a looming famine caused by nine months of civil war in the country, which is heavily dependent on foreign aid.

A government statement, published in several newspapers, ordered “all non-governmental organisations, private companies, banks, insurance companies, telecommunication companies, petroleum companies, hotels and lodges working in South Sudan (…) to notify all the aliens working with them in all the positions to cease working as from 15th October.”

It said these positions should be advertised so that they can be filled by “competent South Sudanese nationals”, listing roles ranging from receptionists to executive directors.

But South Sudan’s Information Minister Michael Makuei told AFP the order only covered “jobs South Sudanese can do”, suggesting the statement from the ministry of public service may have been misleading.

“It is not all foreigners, but for those employed in specific jobs,” he said by telephone from Ethiopia, where he is taking part in peace negotiations.

Still, the minister confirmed that the positions should be filled “through the guidance of the ministry of public service”, therefore giving the government control over who is appointed.

South Sudan is heavily dependent on international aid organisations for humanitarian aid for more than a million people who have been internally displaced by the civil war.

Oxfam said that it employs South Sudanese — like other aid agencies — but still has “many foreigners in key roles”, and restricting that would frustrate efforts to support people in need.

“If this order were to come into effect it would massively disrupt aid programmes across the country which feed over one million people,” said Oxfam director Tariq Riebl.

“South Sudan is on a knife-edge and could easily tip into famine in 2015 — even though the aid effort here is huge, it is not reaching many of the people who desperately need help. We need to be expanding aid programmes in South Sudan, not restricting them.”

The international NGO Global Witness, which campaigns to prevent natural resource-related conflict and corruption, said the order was “disturbing” and accused the government of “attempting to expel trained aid workers at a time of a grave humanitarian crisis”.

“The decision demonstrates a total disregard for the lives of the 1.3 million citizens displaced by this oil-fuelled conflict,” it said, adding that the government also “risks crippling the economy”.

Skilled foreign workers are key to the country’s oil industry, which provided some 95 percent of the government budget before fighting began.

Workers from regional neighbours including Ethiopia, Eritrea, Kenya, Sudan and Uganda, provide key services, while foreigners are vital to the mobile telephone network.

South Sudan suffers from a major shortage of skilled workers, with only around a quarter of the population being able to read and write.

Fighting broke out in the oil-rich country, the world’s youngest nation, in December 2013 following a clash between troops loyal to President Salva Kiir and his former deputy Riek Machar.

The war spread rapidly across the country and has been marked by widespread human rights abuses and atrocities by both sides.

The views expressed here do not necessarily represent the views of Africa Shipping Logistics.

Aug 27

AFRICA SHIPPING LOGISTICS ISSUING ECTN FOR ALL SHIPMENTS TO CONGO

By sowmedia | Blog

CongoAn ECTN, or Electronic Cargo Tracking Note, is a digital document filled in by a forwarder. The forwarder’s country of registration will specify which agent will be of assistance.

An ECTN accompanies a shipment heading towards the Republic of Congo (Congo Brazzaville). The goods, fully described by the ECTN, can be cleared in Congo once the ECTN has been validated with a VISA which generates a Unique Registration Number, or URN. The agent may only grant a VISA to a shipment if the ECTN is within policy.

This data management provides information about the cargo on transit to the local Authorities, the trade trends and how it can impact on future policies.

 The rates of the Notes

Following rates are applicable for the ECTN

Electronic Cargo Tracking Note (ECTN)

Importations from Africa and Europe:

  • Bulk 75 EUR / per BL / 300 Tons maximum
  • Conventional 75 EUR / per BL / 100 Tons maximum
  • 20′ Container 55 EUR / per BL / 5 TEU per ECTN
  • 40′ Container 55 EUR / per BL / 3 TEU per ECTN
  • Vehicle less than 5 tons 55 EUR / per BL / 5 units per ECTN
  • Vehicle more than 5 tons 55 EUR / per BL / 1 unit per ECTN

Importations from Asia, America and the rest of the world:

  • Bulk 100 EUR / per BL / 300 Tons maximum
  • Conventional 100 EUR / per BL / 100 Tons maximum
  • 20′ Container 100 EUR / per BL / 5 TEU per ECTN
  • 40′ Container 100 EUR / per BL / 3 TEU per ECTN
  • Vehicle less than 5 tons 100 EUR / per BL / 5 units per ECTN
  • Vehicle more than 5 tons 100 EUR / per BL / 1 unit per ECTN

For all shipments sailed without ECTN, the regularization by means of the import CTN will be charged at the price of the ECTN plus 50%.

Africa Shipping Logistics is fully compliant to issue out ECTN for all your shipments destined to Republic of Congo. Please get in touch with us on +31 10 476 02 41 or email us: info@africashippinglogistics.com for any assistance with the ECTN for your cargo to Republic of Congo.

Aug 13

DUTY FREE VEHICLES FOR KENYANS ABROAD

By sowmedia | Blog

IMPORTESD-CARSPresident Uhuru Kenyatta has relaxed import rules to allow Kenyans abroad to sell their Left-hand-drive cars and get Right-hand ones duty-free when they return home.

The President directed Cabinet Secretaries Michael Kamau (Transport), Henry Rotich (National Treasury) and Adan Mohammed (Industrialisation) to work out ways of easing the import rules for Kenyans living in the diaspora.

While addressing Kenyans at the Marriott Wardman Park hotel in Washington, DC, President Kenyatta said he was aware of the restrictions on importing left-hand-drive vehicles, hence his directive to relax the rules.

The directive is yet to be implemented by the respective government agencies so as to allow Kenyans returning from abroad to import duty free cars.

Current Customs Regulations with respect to exemption from paying customs duties on motor vehicles for a returning residence

  1. One motor vehicle when being imported as a baggage by a person on first arrival or a returning resident;
  1. The Proper (customs) officer is satisfied that the person is a bona fide changing residence from a place outside a Partner State to a place within a Partner state;
  1. You must have resided outside Kenya for at least two years during which period you should not have visited Kenya for an aggregate of more than 90 days;
  1. The Passenger has personally owned and used the motor vehicle outside a Partner State for at least twelve months (excluding the period of the voyage in the case of shipment);
  1. Provided that the motor vehicle is not older than 8 years at the time of importing into Kenya. Motor vehicles of over 8 years old are not allowed into Kenya as per the KS 1515:2000 quality standard by the Kenya Bureau of Standards. Kenya Customs enforces this requirement. This year, we are allowing vehicles manufactured in the year 2006 September and thereafter;
  1. Provided that the person has attained the age of eighteen years;
  1. The rule excludes:
  • Buses and minibuses with seating capacity of more than 13 passengers
  • Load carrying vehicles of load carrying capacity exceeding two tonnes;
  1. You must not have been granted a similar exemption previously.
  2. Also the deceased person’s motor vehicle which the deceased owned and used outside a Partner State in compliance with A-H above;

For door to door cargo logistics inquiries to Kenya from around the globe, please call us today on +31104760241 or email us: info@africashippinglogistics.com. Visit our webpage for more information about our services: www.africashippinglogistics.com 

Aug 12

SHIPPING CORPORATION OF INDIA’S DEFINING END IN CONTAINER BUSINESS

By sowmedia | Blog

BY INDIAN PRESS, MUMBAI | AUGUST 11, 2014

 SCIState run Shipping Corporation of India (SCI) is considering gradual reduction of its exposure to the loss-making international container service.

 SCI, India’s biggest ocean carrier is losing money heavily from operating five container ships (it has a total fleet of 72 ships). The losses from this business have only added to the poor performance of its bulk carrier and tanker unit—the main profit centre of the company in the last two years. SCI, 63.75% owned by the government, is India’s only mainline container ship operator servicing the country’s export-import trade.

Though there has been a marginal improvement in rates compared to last year, they are still ruling at uneconomic levels, said a shipping company official. In the case of SCI, its operating expenses are higher than its global competitors. While the India line operates smaller vessels of 4,000-6,000 TEUs, global players like Maersk and MSC operate with 14,000-16,000 TEU ships.

 While SCI wants to reduce its global liner operation, the company is keen on expanding its container services along the coast. It is also exploring the scope of deploying some of its larger vessels for coastal operations. The new Government is expected to come out with policy that will promote coastal shipping and SCI is likely to play a key role.

 Strategically, it is not a wise move for SCI to exit the international container service entirely, said a former official of the company. For the national carrier, its presence in the container trade is important. Instead, the company should be rationalising its service to make it economically viable, he said.

 The company’s container carrying unit has posted operational losses in four of the last five years with accumulated losses running up to Rs.728.11 crore.

So far, the container shipping business was subsidized by revenue from dry bulk carriers and tankers. But with the dry bulk and tanker unit also posting operational losses since financial year 2013, the future of the container business has come under a cloud.

Sci-1

SCI reported overall losses in financial years 2012, 2013 and 2014—Rs.428.2 crore, Rs.114.3 crore and Rs.275 crore, respectively.

According to the guidelines of the department of public enterprises for government-owned companies, a company will lose its so-called Navaratna status if it posts losses for three consecutive years. The government is yet to decide on the Navaratna status of SCI, a ministry spokesperson added; the tag gives greater financial autonomy to state-run companies.

The global shipping industry is yet to fully recover from the financial crisis of 2008. SCI’s local rival, Great Eastern Shipping Co. Ltd, though, has been reporting net profits during this period, one of the worst for the shipping industry in decades.

The contrast in operating performance is a reflection of the way in which the two companies are managed under different ownership structures—one state-owned and the other private, said a Mumbai-based shipping analyst.

“SCI is not able to respond quickly to market dynamics in a highly volatile industry such as shipping the way Great Eastern Shipping does. Its decision-making is often influenced by fear of government auditors,” the analyst said, asking not to be named.

“Something drastic, out-of-the-box, has to be done,” chairman and managing director Gupta told shipping agents at the company’s annual worldwide agents meet on 3 March in Mumbai, emphasizing that a situation of continuous and heavy losses at the container unit cannot be sustained any longer.

“Minor restructuring of services, sacrificing commission, renegotiating terminal charges, container freight station and inland container depot charges may not help.” SCI restructured some of its container shipping services two years ago, but with the industry plagued by overcapacity and container rates trending below operating costs, the restructuring plans have suffered.

The company’s shifting focus from the container business was reaffirmed when it cancelled orders for building three new container ships, two of them each with a capacity to load 6,500 standard containers. This was the firm’s first attempt at buying bigger container ships, in line with the industry trend of owning large carriers to achieve economies of scale.

Since April 2013, SCI has cancelled orders for building nine ships, including the three container ships, to preserve cash. SCI’s predicament mirrors that of at least another ocean carrier that halted its container services from 2012.

For door to door cargo logistics inquiries to Africa from India sub-continent, please call us today on +31104760241 or email us: info@africashippinglogistics.com. Visit our webpage for more information about our services: www.africashippinglogistics.com 

Jul 07

8 YR RULE EFFECTED ON USED VEHICLES TO TANZANIA

By sowmedia | Blog

Dar Es Salaam, TZ | 6 July, 2014

Imported-cars-for-TanzaniaWith effect from 1st July, the Tanzanian parliament has passed the age restriction secular to be 8 years instead of 10 years, beyond it dumping fees is applicable.

The Rule is already applicable for vehicles imported to Tanzania as from 1st of July 2014 date of declaration in Tanzania Custom System. B/L date or discharging date is not relevant.

If older than 8 years, vehicles will not be refused but will be subject to additional tax or dues. This rule is valid only for local importation of cars, vans, trucks, buses etc… meant to be driven on public roads in Tanzania.

Cargo in transit, machinery and earth moving equipment like excavators, bulldozers, agricultural equipment, are not subject to this new age restriction.

For all your Cargo Shipments to and from any part in Tanzania and the East Africa region, please call us on +31104760241 or email us on info@africashippinglogistics.com. You can also visit our website: www.africashippinglogistics.com to get more information about our services.

Jul 05

EAST AFRICAN STATES LAUNCHES THE EAST AFRICA EXCHANGE (EAX)

By sowmedia | Blog

Kigali, Rwanda | 5Th July, 2014

EaxThe integration process of the East African states moved a notch higher with the official launch of the East Africa Exchange (EAX) in Kigali, Rwanda. The launch of the EAX through which the establishment of the regional commodity exchange will be facilitated, is aimed at economic transformation and regional integration that will benefit the partner states.

The new initiative will provide a regional commodity exchange that connects buyers and sellers throughout East Africa and one that creates broader access to markets and the global economy. Through the new project, the farmers and traders will connect on price transparency real time.

The five partner states in the project include Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and South Sudan. Ethiopia and Tanzania remained as observers to the Northern Corridor Integration Projects, whose 6th Summit in Kigali provided the platform to launch the EAX.

Kenya’s President, H.E Uhuru Kenyatta rang the bell to officially launch the EAX witnessed by Presidents Paul Kagame (Rwanda), Yoweri Museveni (Uganda), and Salva Kiir of South Sudan. President Kenyatta said the East African Commodities Exchange will greatly assist both businessmen, investors and small farmers who have for long been exploited by middle men.

Additionally, he said, the new financial project will provide fair and decent prices for commodities from regional farmers, stabilize prices of grains and play an important part towards regional food security.

presidents-EA

The main goals of the new initiative, which bring to over 15 the  ongoing projects under the Northern Corridor Integration projects include enabling small-scale farmers access credit, capture value and catalyze further growth and providing an integrated East African Market with  small –scale economy to enable the sector be truly globally competitive.

The other goal of the new EAX is to enable the deepening of East Africa’s capital markets so that its entrepreneurs and enterprises can unleash the prosperity of their own making for the benefit of their societies. To be a fully regional exchange, the EAX will be opened to all regional investors. It also embraces the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) spirit to encourage both private and public investments from the region.

The EAX aims at establishing operations for a comprehensive end-to-end agricultural trading solution that adds value by putting in place inventory and warehouse management systems to combat post-harvest losses, improve food security and provide reliable inputs required for agro-processors.The EAX will also provide access to collateral management to unleash agricultural financing and thereby transform agricultural stock to a financial asset, with products ranging from maize, beans, tea   and coffee.

For all your Cargo Shipments to and from any part in East Africa and the great lakes, please call us on +31104760241 or email us on info@africashippinglogistics.com. You can also visit our website: www.africashippinglogistics.com to get more information about our services.

Jul 02

IMPACT OF SOUTH SUDAN’S WAR ON FOOD SITUATION

By sowmedia | Blog

Juba, South Sudan | 1st July 2014

UgandaTraders to JubaAs more than 50 percent of South Sudanese live below the poverty line, only wealthy individuals can access safe and nutritious food which is largely imported from East Africa, Ethiopia and Sudan. The majority of people cannot.

Food sellers complain that they are forced to charge high costs for their wares due to duty charges and the expense of moving food along difficult routes. Simon Jungu, a Ugandan food exporter to South Sudan explains that he pays hefty taxes to transport produce. “I pay unbelievable amounts to set up a stock for my products in Juba,” says Jungu. “To realise any profits, I charge almost three times the price for the food stuffs.”

Hardest hit are the states far from Juba, where transportation costs are high due to risk of violence and poor roads. South Sudan’s application to join the East African community is still pending. Many hope that taxation on goods from East Africa will be eliminated if the country joins the community.

South Sudan is largely dependent on food imports as a legacy of decades of civil war, which deprived it of an agricultural backbone. Farmers often had to flee their homes during the fighting, meaning that traditional farming knowledge was lost and infrastructure was minimal or non-existent.

These problems have been compounded by the current violence that begun last December with clashes between forces royal to South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir and his former deputy, Riek Machar. The widespread violence has made the transportation of food to many parts of the country impossible.

Much of South Sudan now does not meet the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) definition of food security as a period when “all people, at all times, have physical and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food to meet their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life”.

USAID-SOUTH SUDAN

The 2005 peace agreement that officially ended the war between northern and southern Sudan enabled developmental organisations try to revitalise the country’s bread basket found in the three states of the Greater Equatorian region, Western, Eastern and Central Equatoria State. These states, unlike the rest, have rich soils and reliable rains that support agriculture.

For South Sudan to stop importing food it first needs to increase its food production, according to a USAID report on agriculture in South Sudan. It shows that South Sudan has vast amounts of uncultivated, arable land. With more than 230,000 square miles of potential farming land, only five percent is being cultivated, according to South Sudan’s Ministry of Agriculture.

The FAO and other organisations have stepped up efforts to increase productivity and expand the area under cultivation. USAID has agriculture as one of its main focus of assistance to South Sudan and seeks to transform agricultural practices by training local famers in modern farming skills.

As part of its efforts to improve agriculture, the FAO is distributing seeds to farming associations and providing on-field training. This has boosted food production in the Greater Equatoria region. However, in order to sustain this output, the region also needs security and infrastructure and the current violence has hampered these agricultural advancements.

A recent FAO report shows how the current conflict has hampered crops in conflictive areas, where people have fled and assets were destroyed. It warns that food security is expected to deteriorate in the coming months, estimating that the number of severely food insecure people stands at 3.5 million.

Given that the conflict has impeded the transportation of food, food organisations like the World Food Program (WFP) have started air dropping food to tens of thousands of internally displaced people.

 For all your cargo inquiries to and from any part of South Sudan, please call us today on +31 10 476 0241 or email us on info@africashippinglogistics.com. You can visit our website www.africashippinglogistics.com for more information about our services.

We look forward to serving you!

 The views expressed in this report do not necessarily reflect the positions or opinions of www.africashippinglogistics.com

Jun 29

ETHIOPIA SET TO GET A NEW €50M EUROS CARGO TERMINAL

By sowmedia | Blog

Addis Ababa| 29 June, 2014

Ethiopia is set to get a new state of the art cargo terminal following the signing of a 50Million euros ($68 Million) loan agreement between the Ethiopian Airlines and the Agence Française de Développement (AFD).

The agreement for the construction of the new state of the art cargo terminal was signed in the presence of French Ambassador to Ethiopia, H.E. Ms. Brigitte Collet by the Chief Executive Officer of Ethiopian Airlines, Tewolde Gebremariam, and Mr. Christian YOKA, AFD Regional Director signed at Ethiopian Headquarters on 20 June 2014.

“Infrastructure development is one of the four pillars of our fast, profitable and sustainable growth strategic roadmap, Vision 2025. This loan from AFD will enable us to build our new cargo terminal, which is being constructed in 2 phases, and when completed will have 1.2 million tons annual capacity, making it one of the largest in the world. The new cargo terminal is part of our Ethiopian Cargo Vision 2025, which aims first and foremost to support our country’s fast growing export of perishables such as flowers, fruits, vegetables and meat. As part of our Ethiopian Cargo Vision 2025, we plan to operate 18 dedicated freighters serving 37 international cargo destinations by 2025.

Ethiopia Cargo

“I wish to thank our longtime partner AFD, the French Government, and the French Embassy in Addis Ababa for their continued support. Our Academy expansion is also being undertaken thanks to the financial support of AFD. We look forward working for a successful and continued partnership with AFD”, said Mr. Tewolde G. Mariam, Chief Executive Officer of Ethiopian.

“This credit agreement is the second of its kind after the one signed for the expansion and upgrading of Ethiopian Airlines multinational aviation training center which is nearly completed partially in operation. The new agreement shows our commitment to further support Ethiopian in its growth plan,” said Mr. Christian YOKA, AFD Regional Director for Ethiopia, Sudan, South Sudan, Somalia and Eritrea.

Ethiopian Cargo currently has dedicated freighter services to 26 cargo destinations in Africa, the Gulf, Middle East, Asia and Europe, using six dedicated cargo freighters including B777-200Fs.

For all your Air and Sea Cargo Shipments to and from any part in Ethiopia, please call us on +31104760241 or email us on info@africashippinglogistics.com. You can also visit our website: www.africashippinglogistics.com to get more information about our services.

May 13

China’s $3.8 Billion Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) Project in East Africa

By sowmedia | Blog

Nairobi| 12 May 2014

Rail South Sudan is among several East African countries earmarked to benefit from the $3.8 billion railway line network that will mainly be funded by China with a 10% contribution from Kenya.

The regional Standard Gauge Railway Protocol (SGR) is reportedly part of the northern corridor integration project linking four nations of Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and South Sudan in the Great Lakes region with the Port of Mombasa which is the main gateway to East and Central Africa with the outside world by sea.

The railway project which is expected to change the regional economic landscape by providing efficient and cost effective rail transport for both freight and passengers, will reduce costs of doing businesses in the region and significantly reduce the time spent on travel and transit, by both passengers and cargo respectively.

EA Rail

In the case of South Sudan, for instance, the rail link will boost its export to international markets. It will connect the South Sudan main capital Juba through its Nimule border with Uganda, and Kenya through Nadapal, and then Bor, Malakal, Renk and Paloch towns.

The project is expected to kick off in October 1, and will take 42 months to complete. The overall objective of the SGR protocol is to jointly develop and operate a modern, fast, reliable, efficient and high capacity railway transport system in the four countries and Great Lakes region at large.

For all your cargo inquiries to any destination in East and Central Africa, call us today on +31 10 476 0241 or email us: info@africashippinglogistics.com

We look forward to serving you!