To strengthen maritime administration, the Government established the Kenya Maritime Authority – KMA in 2004 and transferred the responsibility over shipping from the Merchant Shipping Department of the Kenya Ports Authority to an independent authority. KMA implements international instruments relating to maritime transport
It aims to broaden and modernise the institutional and legal frame-work for maritime safety, security and preservation of the marine environment National maritime legislation is one of the primary tools for attaining international standards in safety and security and the preservation of the marine environment.
The establishment of KMA marked a milestone in Kenya’s maritime industry. It was established to regulate, coordinate and oversee activities in line with national standards and international conventions.
It regulates and coordinates maritime affairs, ensures safety of lives, security of ships and port facilities and protection of the marine environment in compliance with national and international conventions. Only through such regulations can the Government enforce conventions, especially those from the International Maritime Organisation (IMO).
The regulations are relevant for maritime safety, security and marine environment programmes. A relevant development for KMA is the Government’s decision to involve the private sector in the operations of the port. This will enhance the development of a vibrant shipping industry and help the Government achieve its objectives. The laws that guide the operations of Kenya Maritime Authority are the KMA Act 2006 and the Merchant Shipping Act, 2009.