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May 25

EAST AFRICA’s Mombasa Port £23 million (KES3.5 billion) Eco-programme boost to Improve Trade

By sowmedia | Blog

Nairobi | May 25, 2015

kenya-portEAST Africa still has some of the highest freight and transport costs which erodes the global competitiveness for the region’s exports, a trade consultant said on Friday. Trade Mark East Africa director General David Stanton said the high costs slow down trade, hold back economic growth, job creation and poverty eradication.

He spoke in Mombasa when TMEA and the UK’s Department of International Development signed a £23 million (Sh3.5 billion) financial support deal for a green programme at the Mombasa port.

The national government and Trade Mark East Africa had hosted international donors at a conference intended to highlight priority infrastructural requirements at the port of Mombasa in need of renewal and upgrading.

“This project aims at minimising environmental impacts while addressing energy efficiencies which are among many projects that TMEA is spearheading through the UK government support at the Mombasa Port to enhance trade environment in the region,” said Stanton.

Stanton said the programme aims at ensuring availability of fresh water, protection of marine environment, better use of energy and reducing carbon emission from ships and cargo trucks.

He said the additional support is in response to a recent study conducted by the Kenya Ports Authority recommending the need for mainstreaming of climate change and renewable energy into port operations. Through TMEA he said that UK and its seven other development partners are currently spending about US$700m (Sh51 billion) on reducing barriers to trade and accelerating regional economic integration in the East African Community.

Port of Mombasa

“Improvements at the port of Mombasa are critical to increasing regional trade in the EAC with benefits that include reductions in the cost of goods of up 40 per cent,” he added. DfID deputy head Tony Gardner said they want to ensure the port becomes competitive with others globally.

“The funding is targeted towards modernisation work at the port of Mombasa including infrastructure investments aimed at addressing energy efficiency, speed up import and export trade handling and minimise environmental impacts at the port. This additional support now brings total DfID funding towards the port to £63 million (10 billion),” he said.

He said the expansion and modernization of the Mombasa port will factor in environmental and social aspects in order to complement existing projects and expand the benefits to all stakeholders, Mombasa residents and the wider East Africa Community.

Africa Shipping Logistics your ONE STOP LOGISTICS SERVICE CENTER for all your cargo shipments to any part of East and Central Africa!! Call us today on +31 10 476 0241 or email – Check our website 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 the publishers of
May 23


By sowmedia | Blog

Business Daily, Nairobi | May 23, 2015

Port of MombasaA latest audit of operations at the Mombasa and Dar es Salaam ports revealed challenges to traders from Burundi, Rwanda and Uganda which affected the overall performance of trade in the region. “The two ports could consider harmonising their port charges, grace period and penalties, in view of the implementation of the EAC single customs territory,” Burundi said in a new report to the bloc’s secretariat.

“The two countries should consider allowing clearing and forwarding agencies to go to work at Dar es Salaam and Mombasa ports.” The two ports are the main gateways to the East African region and also service markets in South Sudan and the Great Lakes region, handling key items including fuel, consumer goods and other imports as well as exports of tea and coffee from the region.

“Dar es Salaam and Mombasa ports, should establish one terminal for all transit containers for EAC countries. For example, you will see at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi that there is a window for EAC citizens only,” said Burundi further in the update published by EAC secretary-general Richard Sezibera on Friday.

The latest claims by Burundi add to a list of concerns by landlocked members of the bloc who felt disadvantaged. A long-running feud between Ugandan traders and Kenyan authorities over the auction of uncollected cargo at the Mombasa port has already been escalated to the EAC leadership amid claims of unfairness.

Uganda has accused Kenya of imposing a new non-tariff barrier by “selectively auctioning” Ugandan goods held at the port of Mombasa. READ: Ugandan traders on the spot over cargo pile-up at Mombasa port in a recent status update to the EAC on trade with Kenya, Uganda also raised concern over increased impounding of suspected counterfeit goods meant for its market at the port.

“Lengthy, restrictive and unclear administrative procedures of licensing Uganda-owned container freight stations and warehouses in Kenya are non-tariff barriers (NTBs),” Uganda said in its audit report. Teams from Uganda and Kenya in charge of eliminating NTBs are expected to deliberate and find a solution to the problem or have it referred to the bloc’s top decision organ, the Council of Ministers, for action.

Kenyan officials have been engaged in a long-running spat with Ugandan traders over uncollected cargo at the port. The facility has in recent years experienced congestion, which the Kenya Ports Authority attributed to a lack of space following delays by importers and clearing agents to promptly collect containers.

Africa Shipping Logistics your ONE STOP LOGISTICS SERVICE CENTER for all your cargo shipments to any part of East and Central Africa!! Call us today on +31 10 476 0241 or email – Check our website 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 the publishers of

Apr 24

US$70m Malawi border post to improve Cargo flow

By sowmedia | Blog

Lilongwe | April 23, 2015

Malawi BorderMalawi have been granted a loan of US. $70 Million to a border post between Malawi and Zambia (between the town of Mwame Zambia and Mchinji), in a bid to improve its trade with Southern Africa Developing Countries (SADC) and reduce wastage of time on borders.

The loan, which was granted by the African Development Fund (ADF) will see the post’s construction kick off immediately.

According to Malawi’s AFD representative Andrew Mwawa the construction of the border post can start off anytime now that the loan is cleared.

“The money is ready and we have just cleared the loan the project for construction of one boarder post between Malawi and Zambia can start anytime” said Mwawa.

The post will be so beneficial to business community in the southern part of Africa for they have been for long pleaded for the introduction of new technology to help in clearance on the border that will see them avoid loss of time and resources.

The government of Malawi is currently also under the ministry of Trade planning to construct a border that will promote trade between it and Mozambique. The news for construction of the border post at Mozambique border was revealed by the Minister Mr. Joseph Mwananveka.


“Shortly we are to build one border post like the one to be built with Zambia in our borders with Mozambique, talking of Mwanza.” He said. Zimbabwe has also announced an intention to reconstruct the Beit bridge border post to international standards, since delays and inefficiencies were being experienced.

Africa Shipping Logistics your ONE STOP LOGISTICS SERVICE CENTER for all your cargo shipments to any part of MALAWI!! Call us today on +31 10 476 0241 or email us on Check our website 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 the publishers of

Apr 10

Changes on Electronic Cargo Tracking Note (Ectn) For Congo

By sowmedia | Blog

Brazzaville | April 09, 2015

GuotThe implementation of “GUOT” (Guichet Unique des Opérations Transfrontaliéres)  process has taken effect. This process has seen the introduction of the T.I number to effect the validation of the Electronic Cargo Tracking Note (ECTN) for all cargo destined to Republic of Congo (Congo Brazzaville).

The process which came into force latest last year (November 2014) required that for a shipper to obtain the Electronic Cargo Tracking Note (ECTN) in French “Besc”, the consignee(s)/ importer(s)  and his transitaire (forwarder) at pointe-noire should be registered at the GUOT (Guichet unique des operations transfrontalieres) in Congo.

In the past, the consignees/ importers and their transitaires were applying for an importation request or authorization directly from the Commerce department to allow them get the ECTN (Besc) at the port of loading.

Now, this process becomes electronic via the GUOT system. The consignee/importer or his transitaire once registered in Guot system can validate all commercial operation (importation) to obtain the T.I number. The T.I number is compulsory for the validation of the besc (ECTN).


Shippers are supposed to notify their consignees/ importers in Congo to register with the GUOT in order to obtain a T.I number which shall appear on the ECTN each time they want to export cargo to Congo via Pointe Noire or other ports of entry.

Heavy fines shall be imposed by the Congolese authorities in event the shipper/consignee fails to comply with these new procedures.

Procedure to get T.I Number for ECTN validation

  1.  The supplier/Shipper abroad or at Port of loading sends a commercial invoice to the consignee/importer in Congo;
  2.  With the commercial invoice, the consignee/importer in Congo or his transitaire registers and opens a file in the Guot system to obtain the T.I number.
  3.  Once the consignee/importer in Congo acquires the T.I number he sends it to the supplier/Shipper abroad or at Port of loading.
  4.  With the T.I number, Africa Shipping Logistics acting on the supplier/Shipper’s instructions applies and validates the ECTN to be indicated on the BL.

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:

Mar 31


By sowmedia | Blog

GhanaEffective April 2nd, 2015 Ghana Shippers Authorities under the authority of Regulations # L.I. 2190 by the Parliament of the Republic of Ghana required “Advance Shipment Information” (ASHI) document, validated at the loading port, covering each Bill of Lading for maritime shipments arriving at the seaports of Ghana. The ASHI for all imports into Ghana was to take effect Bill of Lading date 2nd day of April, 2015. 

This directive from the Minister of Transport of Ghana, ASHI implementation which initially set to commence on 1st March, 2015 was postponed to 2nd April 2015 to allow for further consultations with all related stakeholders in the Ghana maritime fraternity.

The validated ASHI document is a requirement for all cargo clearance through Customs at the seaports of Ghana. Shipments not covered by a valid ASHI document will not be cleared through the Ghana Customs and appropriate fines of up to 50% of the gross freight will be charged.

All Shipping Lines operating to the seaports of Ghana are required to quote the validated ASHI number on its Bill of Lading and cargo manifest issued in respect of cargo shipped to the seaports of Ghana.

Documents required for the ASHI application include:

  • Copy of Freight Invoice
  • Copy of Commercial Invoice
  • Copy of Export Custom Declaration
  • Copy of Bill of Lading
  • Copy of Packing List


Additionally the maximum allowed age for imported used vehicles to Ghana has been set to 10 years. Overaged units imported to Ghana will attract punitive fines by the Customs Authorities which shall be directly charged to the shipper and or the cargo receiver.

For all your ASHI VALIDATIONS requirement, please get in touch with Africa Shipping Logistics on +31 10 476 02 41 or email us:

Oct 21


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: for assistance with your cargo ECTN and thus ensure that you are compliant!

Sep 16


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


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: for any assistance with the ECTN for your cargo to Republic of Congo.

Aug 13


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: Visit our webpage for more information about our services: 

Aug 12


By sowmedia | Blog


 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 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: Visit our webpage for more information about our services: 

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