Motor vehicle importers want clearing and forwarding services to be classified as essential services.
This is after National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) halted the services in Mombasa over the rapid spread of COVID-19.
In a letter to the Deputy Commissioner of Revenue and Regional Operations at the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA), the importers, represented in the Kenya International Freight and Warehousing Association (KIFWA), the importers protested the high storage fees as units are yet to be delivered to their owners.
“Motor vehicles imported through the port of Mombasa for both local and regional countries are stuck at various container freight stations, but cannot be delivered to their owners,” the importers said.
They also want accrued warehouse rents and port storage charges waived. These, they say, are as a result of the movement ban imposed in March.
Last month, the Standard reported that at least 1000 vehicles were stuck in showrooms and at the port after NTSA halted operations.
“A number of employees from the two state agencies have been put in quarantine as a result of having interacted with victims,” said NTSA Director-General George Njao.
Then, CIAK chairman, Peter Otieno asked the authority to lift the suspension for two weeks at least so as to allow the registration of new vehicles.
“Our members are stranded due to non-inspection of the already sold units. Vehicles which have been sold and advance tax and inspection bookings paid for should be registered,” said Otieno.
“Allow us to take the vehicles to inspection stations, leave them there for you to disinfect them in the absence of our drivers, who will leave the details in the vehicles for identification purposes during pick-up time,” he added.
Kenya’s virus cases stand at 490 with Mombasa taking a huge chunk of the reported cases.