Clearing and forwarding agents Wednesday started filing documents through the Kenya National Electronic Single Window System, which is expected to ease customs processes at the port.
The Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) has cleared 80 firms to operate under the Authorised Economic Operators status that gives special cargo clearing privileges. They will be the only ones to lodge import declaration forms, permits and other documents on the system.
“The system will be fully rolled out to importers from December 1,” KRA said in a notice.
The switch to the Single Window system came after a successful piloting by the Kenya Trade Network Agency (KenTrade).
The agency’s general manager in charge of operations, Amos Wangora, said the system is now able to process export and import permits issued by the Kenya Bureau of Standards (Kebs), Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Services and the Department of Veterinary Services.
Other permits include those issued by the Horticultural Crops Development Authority, Pharmacy & Poisons Board and Port Health.
The system is also integrated with that of the Kenya Ports Authority for processing vessel manifests.
“All the shipping agents have been trained and over 130 manifests have been successfully submitted and approved through the Kenya TradeNet System. Over 3,000 import declaration forms have been lodged and processed,” says a recent implementation status report seen by the Business Daily.
When the system is fully operational, 25 government agencies involved in clearing cargo and issuing import and export documents will be operating through the platform.
“Individual agencies will have to stop using the manual system and we are already in discussion with various chief executive officers to fast track this process,” Mr Wangora said.
Kebs was the first agency to require that inspection of all imports be done through the Single Window System starting August this year.
Initially, importers seeking clearance from Kebs were required to submit their documents manually, a process that was time-consuming and inefficient.
Source: Business Daily
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of TradeMark Africa.