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The International Finance Corporation (IFC) from the World Bank Group has reported that Kenya has saved Sh24 billion which could have been lost to malpractices following the adoption of the single window system launched by KenTrade.
The Single Window System, launched in May 2014 during the regional heads of state summit hosted by President Uhuru Kenyatta, is as online cargo clearance platform meant to facilitate automation of processes in international trade. It also works to to reduce and fasten the amount of time used to process documents at the Mombasa port of entry for both imports and exports.
“It is a trade facilitation tool that enables parties involved in international trade to submit regulatory import and export related documentation to lodge their documents through a single platform,” said Rose Rono, Director Trade Facilitation at KenTrade at a recent media roundtable event at Sarova Hotel in Nairobi.
According to the Chief Executive Officer KenTrade, Amos Wangora, the system eliminates inspection of cargo at the ports of entry, helping save time thereby contributing to the 2.5 billion shillings the country saves annually resulting to implementation of the National Electronic Single Window System.
“In a move to speed up trade facilitation and seal graft loopholes at ports of entry, all government agencies are required to automate their services and ensure they interface with the Kenya Trade Network Agency (KenTrade)’s Single Window System,” Wangora said. Adding, “36 of the required 38 agencies have complied with the directive issues in July by Head of Public Service, Joseph Kinyua.”
KenTrade Chairman Suleiman Shahbal, who graced the event, lauded the move to a single window system of operations saying it will make Kenya more competitive in the global trading space.
The Chairman noted that inspection of cargo at the ports of entry has been inconveniencing importers and exporters over time lauding the system’s ability to eliminate the need for cargo re-inspection after docking at the port having been inspecting before shipment. He says, this will save the amount of time used and money.
“The single window system rids off any need for intermediaries at the port, limiting fraudulent dealings and reducing time,” averred Shahbal. “We cannot punish genuine traders because of a few unscrupulous people, KRA will deal with such,” he added.
The National Single Window System was adopted in 2012 and went live in 2013. It has so far attracted 12,000 users with 600,000 transactions annually as indicated by KenTrade data.
The technology, widely used in developed countries such as Singapore and has been embraced by 22 other African countries.