Twenty two Government Agencies directly involved in cargo clearance processes, have been integrated into a Single Window System.
This follows a directive to all Government Agencies involved in cargo clearance processes to interface with the Single Window System by September 1st 2019.
Speaking during a media briefing,the CEO Kenya TradeNet System (KENTRADE) Amos Wangora said the agency is working with the remaining two Agencies to ensure they are within the timelines set to have all the Agencies on the Single Window System.
“In our view, this directive by the Head of Public Service will have a major positive impact on our cargo clearance process in a number of ways including but not limited to,” said Wangora
Wangora said there will now exist a complete paperless cargo clearance process which will result in faster clearance of cargo.
Instead of the 24 Agencies intervening, only 4 Agencies will remain at the port.
“We now have an enriched Certificate of Conformity which captures all the requirements for all the 24 Government Agencies meaning that only one document will be used to ensure conformity with all requirements for the 24 Agencies,this has simplified the processes,” he said
The major benefit from this initiative is the elimination of possible redundant processes resulting in time and cost saving for importers and exporters.
“As we make progress in implementing the above directive, we are also happy to note that the implementation will augment the benefits that the Single Window has contributed to the trade and logistics sector,” he added
A recent study done by the World Bank Group on the Impact of the Kenya TradeNet System revealed that the System has indeed resulted in streamlining effective information sharing.
Where automation of processes and procedures has resulted in reduction of delays, improved convenience and substantial cost savings estimated at Sh 2.5 billion as traders compliance costs associated with transport/travel, time, administration (e.g. document preparation, photocopying) and telecommunication have been reduced or eliminated.
Where the average number of process steps involved in processing clients applications reduced by almost 50 percent.
The TradeNet System is also more secure and can only be accessed by authorized staff.
Ken trade Chairman Suleiman Shahbal said Traders who deal with imports and exports of goods used in construction of affordable housing, imports of raw materials for manufacturing, machinery for agriculture and other agricultural inputs and those who import medicine or medical equipment to Kenya all use Single Window System for lodging applications for various trade related permits.
“The System has assisted in elimination of inefficiencies, increased transparency hence reducing rent seeking and wastages that raise the cost of doing business in Kenya,” he said
The Single Window System has among other benefits resulted in the automation of over 87 percent of import and export documentation processes for the Government Agencies involved in the trade related processes.
The Single Window System is an electronic platform that serves as a Single entry point for submission of cargo clearance documentation.
The System enables parties involved in international trade to submit regulatory import and export related documentation through a single platform for processing and approval by various Government Agencies, hence the name single window.
Shahbal challenged the news media in Kenya to take advantage of the many untold stories of success and accomplishments by the award winning state agency to help showcase Kenya’s global competitiveness.
“We went live with the Kenya Trade Net System in October 2013, and since then we have managed to bring onto the platform 36 Government Agencies including the Kenya Revenue Authority (Customs), Kenya Bureau of Standards, Kenya Ports Authority, Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Services, Kenya Dairy Board, and AFA Directorates just to mention a few,”Wangora said.
Wangora noted that they work closely with key actors at the Mombasa Port community such as Clearing Agents under Kenya International Freight and Warehousing Association (KIFWA), Shippers under the Shippers Council of Eastern Africa, Ship Agents and Container Freight Station (CFSs) all actively using the Single Window System.
Exporters and importers are the main users of the system.