The Star (Nairobi)

10 November 2012

Kenya: Government to Save Sh38 Billion in Cargo Handling

The government will be saving over Sh36B annually following the introduction of the national electronic single window system. The single window is an electronic platform for submission, receipt and processing of trade related documentation.

The system will also see dwell time at the port of Mombasa reduced from 26 to three days and at JKIA from five to one day. According to the economic secretary ministry of finance Geoffrey Mwau, the savings will later rise to between USD300m-USD450m (Sh25.5billion - Sh38.3 billion) per year.

Mwau said that the savings would be achieved through reduced trade transaction costs, reduced delays and corruption. "Based on the volume of goods imported and exported in Kenya, it's estimated that the implementation of the system will lead to savings worth millions of dollars," he said.

Mwau said that at the border posts, the system was expected to reduce cargo dwell time for both transit and intra-regional to a maximum of one hour.

He said that the objective of the system was to facilitate external trade by reducing delays and lowering costs associated with clearance of goods.

"The single window will create the ability for greater harmonization and better sharing of the relevant data across government departments and systems.

Mwau said that the window system would be implemented in two phases which would be complete by mid-2013 adding that the system would be accessible nationwide.

He was speaking during the sensitization workshop on the single window concept for CEOs and stakeholders at a Naivasha hotel. The single window is an electronic platform for submission, receipt and processing of trade related documentation.

Mwau admitted that the delays in the port of Mombasa had led to congestion and an increase in the cost of doing business in Kenya The chairman Kentrade retired General Joseph Kibwana said that the new system would see time of clearing goods from the port reduced from the current 26 days.

"This system will see the cost and time of doing business in our ports and airports reduced drastically," he said. On his part Kentrade CEO Alex Kabuga said that bureaucracy was to blame for the long duration of clearing cargo. "Clearing of cargo in the airport takes up to five days but under this system it will change to one day," he promised.

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