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Maritime Commercial Services

Its functions include:

  1. Developing and reviewing of policies on Commercial Maritime and shipping operations;
  2. Developing appropriate guidelines for determination of charges for provision of Maritime Services;
  3. Providing policy direction on efficiency of the maritime and shipping services;
  4. Facilitating and promoting of local participation in sea borne trade;
  5. Promotion of Coastal Shipping;
  6. Undertaking Studies on maritime economic activities and profile for investors;
  7. Identifying and establishing linkages and collaboration with appropriate Maritime Association and organizations‚Äü, both local and foreign;
  8. Providing advice to cargo importers, exporters and local insurance providers companies for uptake of local insurance cover;
  9. Developing strategies for promotion of local ship building and ownership;
  10. Encouraging and promoting a second ship register for foreign ship owners and investors for registration in Kenya;
  11. Establishing and maintaining a conducive Business Environment capable of attracting and fostering Capital Investments in Maritime and Shipping Sub-Sector;
  12. Identifying and promoting commercial opportunities for investment in Kenya’s Maritime and Shipping Sector;
  13. Undertaking surveys and providing advice on appropriate tax concessions and fiscal regimes necessary to boost development of the Sector;
  14. Researching and disseminating findings on best practices that promote maritime trade;
  15. Establish a maritime cluster development fund;
  16. Promote ship-related operations through various policies and legislation to adequately participate in commercial shipping;
  17. Creating linkages with other State departments and other partners in the development of the blue economy;
  18. Mainstreaming Women participation in the maritime and shipping industry development programmes;

Marine Casualty Investigations

The State Department is responsible for carrying out investigations into marine casualties that take place in Kenyan waters or involve Kenyan registered vessels.

One of the main purpose of the Departments investigations is to establish the cause or causes of a marine casualty with a view to making recommendations to the Cabinet Minister responsible for Shipping for the purposes of avoiding similar marine casualties. It is noted that such investigations should not form the basis of an investigation to attribute blame or fault. The legislative framework for the operation of the Casualty Investigations Department, the reporting and investigating of marine casualties as well as the powers of Department’s investigators, is set out in the Merchant Shipping Act, 2009 and the Merchant shipping (Casualty Investigations & Reporting) Regulations, 2014.

This directorate will also work closely with Kenya Maritime Authority in collaborating with the Kenya Coast Guard Service on enforcement matters. Marine accident reports will be issued in cases of serious accidents and/or when lessons can be learned.

Statistics on accidents at sea will be published on a yearly basis by the Ministry. This knowledge will be used by the shipping and fishing industries as well as the Kenya Maritime Authority in order to guard against accidents. The Department will comprise of six investigators all of whom will have a broad maritime and technical background among others as marine navigators, marine engineers and naval architects.

Inland Waterways Development

Its functions include:

  1. Promoting growth and development of inland water ways;
  2. Developing policies for the inland water ways;
  3. Promoting capacity for ship-building and boat building and maritime related activities;
  4. Overseeing implementation of the Inland Waters Act and any other related legislation pertaining to inland waters;
  5. Developing a regulatory regime that promotes safety and security in Inland and Waterways;
  6. Providing standards for vessel operations; vii. Providing and facilitating a conducive environment for Maritime business;
  7. Promoting community awareness on maritime opportunities in our inland waters;
  8. Creating a regulatory regime to protect Marine Environment;
  9. Monitoring and evaluating the implementation of Inland waters policy and regulatory programmes;
  10. Creating linkages with littoral County Governments, State Agencies, departments and other partners in development of the blue economy.

Marine Pollution Control Safety and Security

Maritime Administration

Its functions include:

  1. Providing guidance and policy direction in the development, formulation and adoption of international maritime conventions relating to safety of shipping, security of ships and port facilities, maritime education and prevention of marine pollution from ships;
  2. Providing advice on admiralty jurisdiction matters;
  3. Developing and reviewing laws, regulations and other legal instruments related to safety and security for international and national shipping;
  4. Monitoring and evaluating the implementation of policies relating to maritime and shipping services;
  5. Promoting maritime education and training;
  6. Promoting and/or undertaking research and development in Shipping and Maritime and the related activities;
  7. Coordinating human resource development and management in support of Kenya’s Shipping Industry;
  8. Developing a Central Data and Information Centre; 
  9. Publishing reports and monitor the implementation of the recommendations for improving Safety, security and environment protection at port facilities.