SPEECH BY THE MANAGING DIRECTOR KENYA PORTS AUTHORITY MRS CATHERINE MTURI-WAIRI, DURING THE SENSITIZATION WORKSHOP OF IMO MANDATORY CONTAINER WEIGHT VERIFICATION REQUIREMENT AT THE NYALI BEACH RESORT AND SPA ON 3RD MARCH 2017
- Secretary General –PMAESA
- Industry Stakeholders
- All Protocols Observed
Ladies and Gentlemen, Good morning
I am pleased to be with you here today to join the industry stakeholders in this sensitization workshop of IMO Mandatory Container Weight Verification Requirement. This is indeed an important forum meant to educate and assess ourselves on the compliance status of this vital binding Maritime regulation on Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS).
I believe when International Maritime Organization amended the Safety of Life at Sea Convention Chapter VI, Part A, regulation 2 on Cargo information which came into force on July 1st 2016, extensive research had been done and that there is no doubt the regulation is for the general good of all parties in the industry.
I say this because we are in the logistics supply chain that when one link is damaged the entire supply chain is ineffective unless we fix the damaged part- this isn't cheap though.
Ladies and Gentlemen;
It is indeed gratifying to note that the amendments of this regulation were in recognition of the glitches associated with miss-declared cargo weights within the supply chain, globally. Wrong declaration of weights could have a severe damage to Port Terminal facilities that may not only hinder smooth operations at the Port, but also bring about unwarranted operational costs to port operators.
We are all live to the fact that the biggest mode of transport on the African continent is road. Yet we also know that miss-declaration of weights is more rampant in our continent. It is no wonder that most African states spend more on roads maintenance, which roads hardly live up to their expected span. Consequently, transport forms a significant part of the cost of business. The rails are also not spared in this. African states are now constructing modern railway lines to enhance the movement of cargo to reduce the burden on the roads. However, the unsafe behaviours on miss-declaration of weights if left unchecked could also severely damage these railway lines and endangering the safety of users and burdening the economies with maintenance costs.
Ladies and gentlemen;
This unsafe behavior isn't about offshore safety alone but also onshore. Uneven weight distribution across the ship, has many times caused accidents in the sea due to instability and damage to ship; with associated loss of cargo and life .An example in mind is the case of MSC Napoli in 2007 which suffered a crack in her hull while in English Channel and had to be beached. At the same time, this could impact on the health and safety of the crew and cause serious marine ecosystem destruction which could ignite battles with environmentalists, trade unions and activists across the globe.
The responsibility is with us the business community to ensure full implementation of SOLAS for better services from our facilities.
After the SOLAS convention amendment, we in Kenya Ports Authority and the Port community initiated a Multi-Agency implementation committee to spearhead the enactment of the IMO requirement. Through this, guidelines and procedures were developed and an extent analysis conducted, and most importantly Standard Operating Procedures were put in place. We are inviting other Agencies to join the committee to ensure inclusivity and unity of direction.
Furthermore my office appointed an interdepartmental (internal) committee mandated to ensure KPA's preparedness on the implementation process.
Am happy to state that these committees addressed several issues under equipment, site and logistics and system development. In liaison with Kenya Maritime Authority, we appointed a Government Agency- Weights and Measures department to certify 15 identified equipment for random weighing and each equipment was certified with respective weight variation.
Ladies and Gentlemen
I don't want to take much of the workshop's time on my speech because we need to spare it for the various presentations that have specifically been prepared for this workshop.
At this juncture I wish to convey my most sincere gratitude to the International Maritime Authority for taking such a bold move to save our trade from the mess that has been caused by under-declaration of weight, particularly in container trade. I also appreciate the IMO consultants for taking time to visit us in Mombasa and educate the Port community on this important matter.
I also thank the organizers of this workshop under the Port Management Association of Eastern and Southern Africa and the Kenya Maritime Authority. I believe that the stakeholders here today will immensely benefit from the fruitful discussion towards this key regulatory requirement.
Thank you and May God bless you