MAGERWA, the public custom bonded warehouse of Rwanda has said it will increase prices of handling imported goods from Rwf7.5 to Rwf10 per kilogram effective September 1, 2009.
Authorities at the public-private owned warehouse said the 33 percent increment on warehouse charges is due to the recent hike in fuel prices, high inflation and the need to maintain infrastructure.
“We are increasing the charges for our clients because we want to link the cost of living which has become expensive to the cost of their income,” said the Director General of MAGERWA Lambert Nyoni.
Officials also said that the grace period, which is the time given to the client before collecting his / her goods and consignments, will be reduced from 15 days to seven days.
According to MAGERWA, failure to comply will tantamount into charges of Rwf1 per kilogram on daily basis.
Nyoni said the reduction in the grace period is due to the improvement in their system where it is now computerised and enables the client to pick his goods within one day hence no need of delaying in the warehouses.
However, the current charges based on the weight system that were introduced in 2006 are appropriate for the importers in comparison with the old system based on cost insurance flight (CIF) where clients would pay four percent of total goods imported.
The government has liberalised the warehousing and handling of goods which has seen the entry of SDV-transami providing competition to the monopoly that was enjoyed by MAGERWA previously.
“On average we would handle 100 trucks of goods every day but we have a 40 percent decrease and it could be due to competition from new players,” explained Nyoni.
However, he also attributes the reduction in their cargo to the new trade policy that requires the importers to transport their goods directly to the premises which improves the business environment.
The liberalisation of warehouses and handling of goods is seen as a boost since the prices would be fixed by the market forces unlike in past where they were fixed by the decree of the ministry of finance.