Electronic cargo clearance set to start in October
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Kenya will in October automate cross-border trade procedures at ports of entry, cutting by more than half the time it takes to clear imported goods through the port of Mombasa.The Electronic Single Window System will provide a platform for exchange of trade-related documentation and help reduce the clearance time from eight days on average to a maximum of three days.
The Kenya Trade Network Agency (KenTrade), the body charged with rolling out the virtual one-stop cargo clearing shop, says the system could save the economy Sh26.2 billion lost yearly through inefficiencies in cargo clearance.
READ: Online system to track cargo clearance at Mombasa port
“The single window platform will transform the way we do business in the country by simplifying and streamlining processes and integrating the systems of the multiple numbers of stakeholders that traders have to deal with ,” said KenTrade chief executive Alex Kabuga in an interview with the Business Daily.
“The first phase of the single window goes live in October 2013 while the second phase will be ready in April 2014.”
A single window is defined as a portal where all customs documents are lodged and payments submitted online, cutting the red tape associated with clearing goods at sea ports and border points.
The system will reduce cargo dwell time at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport from the current average of five days to a maximum of a day and streamline clearance at land border posts to take two hours. Kenya will become the second country in the region after Rwanda to migrate to digital cargo clearance platform.