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Iron ore dealer given go-ahead to load ship for export in dispute with KRA




Kenya Revenue Authority headquarters in Nairobi. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

An iron-ore trading company got a major reprieve after it was allowed to load its 55,000 metric tonnes of the mineral to a vessel for export to India pending hearing of an ongoing dispute with the taxman.

Justice Eric Ogola on Thursday directed Kenya Revenue Authority to ensure that the loading of Samruddha Resources Kenya Ltd’s (SRKL) iron-ore on MV Densa Cougar for export continues expeditiously.

The judge also directed that the vessel be cleared to sail with the mineral, which originated from Kishushe in Taita Taveta county, without any delay or undue hindrance.

SRKL had filed an application, through lawyer Sanjeev Khagram, saying KRA had without justification withdrawn its approval for the loading of the iron ore on the ship for export to India. When the case was mentioned yesterday, however, the court was told that loading started on Wednesday.

SRKL, which has sued KRA, the Director of Criminal Investigations, and the Attorney General argued that the demurrage in respect of the vessel continued to accrue at a daily rate of Sh150,000 having arrived in Mombasa on October 23.

The firm argued that respondents were conducting themselves in disregard of the property and fair administration action.

“Potentially, their conduct is likely to result in the petitioner being unable to fulfil its contractual delivery obligations resulting in a termination of sales of the iron ore to international purchasers,” argued SRKL in its application.

SRKL sought conservatory orders prohibiting the respondents from interfering with its proprietary rights or its access to the iron ore consignment currently stored at Africa Ports & Terminals Ltd yard in Mombasa.

The company also wanted a conservatory order to compel KRA to release the export entry number and permit of loading the vessel.

It has sought the orders pending hearing and determination of its application inter-parties which has now been marked as settled.

According to SRKL, the respondents acting under the guise of a multi-agency which it (SRKL) argues is not an entity anchored in law were conducting themselves illegally.

“The petitioner has all relevant export documents including the license issued by the Ministry of Petroleum and Mining,” part of the application stated.