Kenya: New Cargo Sytem Expected to Ease Port OperationsTuesday, June 23, 2015 > 10:23:41
(All Africa By Martin Mwita)
THE adoption of the Kenya National Electronic Single Window System will end duplication of processes and ease clearance of goods, clearing agents have said.
They said it will also reduce transaction costs related to processing of imports and exports documentation, while putting in place the requisite controls to ensure efficient revenue collection.
Treasury Cabinet secretary Henry Rotich said in his 2015/16 budget statement that from July 1, "all importers and exporters and other related stakeholders will be required to process their transactions through the system"
"This will enhance transparency, accountability, governance and competitiveness while at the same time improving revenue collection," he said said.
The Kenya International Freight and Warehousing Association has said the system will address lapses.
According to Kifwa, importers and exporters were forced to use both the KRA's ORBUS and the Single Window System to process documents such as import declaration form and import permits, while KRA's Simba is used to process entries.
This led to duplication of processes, slow approvals by government agencies and slow bank transactions.
"We welcome the move because now we can access all government and trade entities on the same platform. This will enhance trade ,"said Kifwa national chairman Boaz Makomere.
He said the government must ensure the new system runs smoothly.
According to Makomere, Orbus was to stop working on December 1, 2014, but the association urged customs not to switch off , because the SWS took three times longer to lodge and get approval of an import declaration form.
"It will end duplication of processes but the government needs to ensure its different agencies embrace the system fully, if it is to be efficient," Makomere said.
The government also put other new measures in place to promote regional trade.
These include zero rating of services in respect of transit goods.
According to Rotich, services to goods in transit were exempted from the VAT which affected the case of cross-border transport services provided by Kenyan transporters in the regional market, making Kenyan transporters less competitive.
The government also lowered the import declaration fee from 2.25 percent to 2.0 per cent.
Rotich said the government will continue with modernisation and expansion of the port of Mombasa. He said construction of three berths at Manda Bay in Lamu has also commenced.