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ISCOS Member States

The current ISCOS members are The Republic of Kenya, The United Republic of Tanzania, The Republic of Uganda and The Republic of Zambia. Membership is open to other Eastern, Central and Southern Africa countries. Membership comprises Full Members and Associate Members. Full Membership is open to States. Associate Membership is open to organizations associated with shipping and maritime activities.

ISCOS Stakeholders

ISCOS stakeholders include but are not limited to:-

  • The Member States: The Republic of Uganda, The United Republic of Tanzania The Republic of Kenya and The Republic of Zambia
  • Potential members that have been engaged.
  • Other African Members of state in Eastern, Central, and southern African countries
  • The ISCOS Assembly
  • The ISCOS Co-ordination Committee
  • The ISCOS Technical Committees
  • ISCOS associate members
  • Port and harbor management authorities: Kenya Ports Authority (KPA), and Tanzania Ports Authority (TPA).
  • Surface and Maritime Transport Regulatory Authority (SUMATRA)
  • Mpulungu Port (Republic of Zambia)
  • Port bell (Republic of Uganda)
  • Kenya Maritime Authority (KMA)
  • Port Management Association of Eastern and Southern Africa (PMAESA)
  • Other Government agencies
  • Customs and other border agencies (Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Zambia)
  • International Organizations ( IMO; AU; UNCTAD- United Nations Conference on Trade and Development   Africa Maritime Transport Charter; UNECA – United Nations Economic Commission for Africa; WTO-World Trade Organization; WCO- world customs organization; OECD-Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development; Land locked developing countries and small island developing states UN-OHRLLS )
  • Regional Economic Communities ( EAC, SADC, COMESA, NEPAD)
  • Regional transport corridors (NCTTCA,CCTTFA and DCC)
  • Development partners – TMEA ; AfDB – Africa Development Bank ; USAID, PTA Bank; GIZ- German ; JICA- Japan Internal Corporation; World Bank
  • Commodity organizations (importers and exporters) such as Sugar boards, Tea boards, Coffee Boards, Flowers and horticulture groups Grain handlers, Cloves handlers and Cotton boards
  • Chambers of commerce for the various countries
  • Association of manufacturers
  • Gas and Oil handlers
  • Minerals and precious stones ( copper, cobalt) handlers
  • Terminal operators
    • Container Freights Stations
    • Cargo consolidators
    • Freight forwarders and their associations
    • Berth operators
    • Inland Container Depots (ICDs)
  • Shippers councils
  • Shipping lines, Ships agents association and National shipping line
  • Transporters:
    • Road transporters associations
    • Pipeline companies
    • Railway corporations and concessions
  • Maritime training institutions
    • Bandari College- Republic of Kenya and United Republic of Tanzania
    • Dar es Salaam maritime institutions
    • Public and private universities
  • Other institutions – private and public institutions
  • Consultants/contractors/suppliers

General public and media

Objectives of the Strategic Plan

The new Strategic Plan isexpected to provide ISCOS with a renewed and revitalized pathway towards consolidating its current gains, utilizing new and innovative ways of doing business and breaking new grounds to build and expand its horizons in the implementation of its Establishment Agreement and Protocol as better set out in the Transformation Report (April 2006). The strategic plan will help ISCOS achieve its mandate through;

  • Providing strategic direction and focus with regard to the new expanded mandate
  • Positioning the organization strategically in relation to the dynamics of the internal and external environment
  • Providing a rational framework for effective governance and management
  • Charting a rational course for organizational growth and development

The new strategic plan will shape ISCOS’ thematic focus, administrative and financial direction and resource utilization.

ISCOS’s Mandate, Vision, Mission & Core Values


To facilitate international trade in shipping by:

  • Promoting the development of maritime, inland water ways and other inter modal transport systems and practices; public and private sector investments; Efficient Logistics and competitive shipping services.
  • Undertaking industry research, and strengthening and promoting the establishment of Shippers Councils through capacity building.
  • Advocating for maritime safety, security, and environmental protection.
  • Advocating for policy harmonization and implementation of International and regional maritime agreements and conventions by members.

Vision statement

“Africa’s centre of excellence for shipping and maritime matters”

Mission statement

To promote and advocate for efficient and competitive shipping and maritime services in Eastern, Central and Southern Africa

Our Core Values

ISCOS shall be guided by the following core values (Acronym: PECITI) in all its operations;

  • Professionalism- Observing ISCOS’ establishing Protocol and Transformative report, codes of conduct and using skills proficiently when offering services.
  • Equity and Diversity-Fairness and inclusiveness at the work place
  • Collaboration and Engagement-Commitment to working together with strategic partners and our stakeholders
  • Integrity, Transparency& Accountability– Honesty, openness, ethical and a sense of responsibility in our daily undertakings
  • Teamwork– Synergy through supporting and working together amongst staff.
  • Innovation-Introducing and developing new ideas to enable organisation’s growth

ISCOS Key Achievements

In pursuit of its mandated objectives, ISCOS has realised several achievements some of them being beneficial to the Member States’ economies and the rest specifically benefiting shippers (Exporters and Importers). The achievements so far made are summarized as follows:-

  • Creation of a formal platform for undertaking consultations with stakeholders for the adoption of common position by contracting parties on maritime matters and/or in multilateral negotiations with third party countries or international and regional maritime organizations;
  • Is an acknowledged Centre of excellence for Consultation/negotiations with shipping lines over general rate increases (GRI) contract freight rates for the carriage of marine cargo by sea, bunker and fuel adjustment factors (CAFs) Ports/terminal handling charges (THC’s) Vessel Delay Surcharges (VDS) etc. which has led to stabilization of ocean freight rates;
  • Reduction or removal of unfair and unsubstantiated pricing mechanisms often used by the liner shipping operators;
  • Promoted various bodies, and activities which are likely to facilitate the development of the maritime and inland waterways sectors and in particular, getting early warnings on shipping matters, and provided statistical and economic analysis of the maritime transport and inland waterways sectors;
  • Sensitization of maritime stakeholders on appropriate use of International Commercial Terms (INCOTERMS) and best practice in maritime transport;
  • Developed and strengthened national shipper associations in Member States;
  • Participating in intra-regional cooperation for each category involved in maritime transport: shipping companies, ports and port operators, shippers, clearing and forwarding agents, cargo consolidators, etc through ISCOS as one-stop centre;
  • Enhanced cooperation between the national maritime administrations with a view to harmonizing and improving the operating conditions of the entire maritime transport system in the region;
  • Defined and well advised contracting parties regarding sector-based policies and common standards in the fields of shipping services, port operations and modalities of servicing landlocked countries;
  • Well advised contracting parties regarding vessel inspection activities with the view to improving the safety of shipping and protection of the marine, rivers and lakes environment;
  • Promoted, articulated and co-coordinated effective partnership between governments and private sector in enhancing investment in and management of deep-sea, coastal, multimodal, and inland waterways services;
  • Provision of advice to contracting parties on commercial implications of the maintenance of the safety and security of maritime transport services including matters relating to integrated coast guard services , port state control and joint search and rescue operations;
  • Sensitized contracting parties on matters of development of human resources, gender matters in shipping and HIV Aids scourge and other pandemics in the maritime sector;
  • Assisted contracting parties in adopting/acceding to the relevant maritime conventions, particularly those concerning safety of life and property at sea, carriage of goods by sea, oil pollution, marine environment protection, ship and port facility security;
  • Coordinated and facilitated shipper organizations in freight cost consultations/negotiations with terminal and transport operators;
  • Coordinated and promoted the development of the maritime transport sector within the region and its integration into African region as a whole;