The introduction of a Single Window System as a trade facilitation tool for documentation on import and export has enabled the Kenya government to reduce the cost of doing business by Sh24 billion annually.
Kenya Trade Network Agency (KenTrade) Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Amos Wangora said KenTrade has launched various products and automated the Single Window System into one platform where all government agencies dealing with import and export can improve on the import and export of cargo.
Wangora said following a directive by the Head of Public Service in July this year that all government agencies automate their services and interface with KenTrade’s Single Window System by 1st September 2019, a total of 36 agencies are already operating on the platform.
He said KenTrade is working with multisectoral agencies to ensure that the directive is achieved, adding that the system conducts 6,000 transactions annually.
“Before there were 24 agencies doing clearance at the port, but with the new directive it will be done by Kenya Revenue Authority and Kenya Bureau of Standards,” stressed Wangora.
Speaking at a Media breakfast roundtable discussion hosted by KenTrade at a Nairobi hotel Tuesday, the CEO observed that the decision to have only two agencies doing clearing at the port of entry was for efficiency purposes.
Mr. Wangora attributed the multiple agencies at the port of entry as the cause of cargo delay.
He said the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group in its report done in June 2018 shows that the single window system has reduced delay, improved connectivity, documents are now secure while permits that used to take three days to be cleared now take half a day.
The CEO said KenTrade has already put in place 21 modules to be used by people dealing with imports and exports, announcing that KenTrade is currently working on how it can reduce the number of steps needed to clear certain commodities such coffee, tea, meat and meat products among others.
In his remarks, the KenTrade Chairman Mr. Suleiman Shahbal said as business becomes more competitive internationally, KenTrade has managed to reduce the number of steps required to do clearing and urged all government agencies to operate through KenTrade.
He said this will discourage those in the business from making application in various agencies, noting that the government has put in place right checks and balances to ensure that integrity is maintained throughout the process.
Mr. Shahbal said, “The automation system is 87 percent efficient in promoting the cost of doing business and the country’s economic growth. This system will help eliminate fictitious documents and unscrupulous traders”.
He said KenTrade has included all products exported in the country in the Single Window portal.
Speaking at the event, a KenTrade Director Ms. Rose Rono said currently there are more than 10,584 registered users with over 521,681 permits, licenses and certificates processed through the Kenya TradeNet system in the FY 2017/2018,”.
A single Window System is a trade facilitation tool that enable parties involve in International Trade to submit regulatory import and export related documentation to lodge their documents through a single platform.
The services that are available through the Kenya TradeNet System are submission, processing payments and approval of cargo clearance documentation which is done electronically.
KenTrade is a State Corporation under the National Treasury established to implement, operationalize and manage the Kenya National Electronic single Window System Kenya TradeNet System and to facilitate trade.
By Bernadette Khaduli