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Clearing agents protest new border laws

01 December 2015, 14:00 Ben Wafula

Busia - Clearing agents at the Malaba border point have threatened to boycott duties at the border post over new rules at the customs yard.

The agents stated that the new rules were meant to lock out agents who are not employed by companies.

Vincent Ikomol of Reliable Freight said the move would lock out independent agents from operating at the customs yard and called for a review of the same.

Ikomol said the independent agents have operated at the yard for over two decades and it was wrong to lock them out.

“We believe that the new rules are retrogressive. They are trying to lock out independent agents who have served at the yard for many years,” said Ikomol.

The new rule that takes effect on December 1 demands that all agents operating at the customs yard be given special passes for identification.

Read Also: Leaflets found in Bungoma warning members of a certain tribe

This move is meant to improve security at the border post and lock out idlers and brokers who have been fleecing unsuspecting travelers and drivers. The agents are required to wear the passes whenever they are in the customs yard precincts.

Ikomol further stated that the Kenya International Freight Forwarders and Warehousing Association (Kiffwa) had failed to cater for the welfare of agents working at the border post.

“The association failed us by agreeing to the rules without consultation and this was not in line with our operations as agents,” he said.

Kiffwa Malaba branch secretary, Deo Otia said the new rules were meant to improve security at the yard.

Otia said with the increase in terror attacks globally, there was need to safeguard the borders and that all stakeholders agreed to the rules.

He stated that there had been idlers at the yard who were conning unsuspecting travelers and truck drivers and as such there was need to lock them out of the Customs yard.

“In a bid to secure our borders and customs yard, we believe that the new rules will lock out idlers and crooks from the yard and those fighting the new rules are the ones that have been affected,” said Otia.

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