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Kenya: Importers required to use new trade systemWednesday, August 06, 2014 > 09:06:20
Importers will now be required to use the Kenya National Electronic Single Window System (Kenya TradeNet) to apply for Import Declaration Forms (IDFs) as the Government moves to implement the system expected to significantly speed up the clearing of goods at the port. Traders will also be required to apply for approvals from the Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) through the same System.
The single window, launched in May this year, is expected to make exportation and importation of goods into the country fast and transparent by minimising manual processes. Traders are supposed to lodge their documents online and receive approvals electronically, which will hasten the clearance process as well as weed out corruption.
Kenya Trade Network Agency (KenTrade) Chief Executive Officer Alex Kabuga said the requirement for importers to apply for IDFs and Kebs approval follows successful piloting of the system’s electronic permits module. This was part of the ongoing roll out of the system aimed at simplifying trade processes to improve Kenya’s competitiveness.
“We are determined to build strong co-operation with stakeholders by ensuring that the Kenya TradeNet System is effectively implemented to expedite clearance of goods,” he said. He expressed confidence that effective implementation of the System would reduce the cost of doing business due to online clearance and simplified procedures. He added that the system is currently able to process pre-clearance documents, including import and export permits from Kebs, Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service, Department of Veterinary Services, Horticultural Crops Development Authority, Pharmacy & Poisons Board and Port Health.
The system is also used to apply for and approve Kenya Revenue Authority’s Import Declaration Form (IDF). “Under the new rule that took effect last Friday, cargo importers with hard copies of clearance documents (such as customs declaration) presented at the entry points for goods whose IDFs were processed through the Kenya TradeNet system. They included copies of the Kebs consignment documents,” said Kebs MD Charles Ongwae. Kenya Revenue Authority’s Simba System, Kenya Ports Authority’s KWATOS System and Kenya Plant Heath Inspectorate Service’s system, which play central roles in cargo clearance, have already been integrated with the Kenya TradeNet System. This enables electronic lodging, processing, and sharing of Import Declaration Forms and Manifests among stakeholders. Integration with Pharmacy & Poisons Board system is currently ongoing.