THE government hopes to grow customs revenue by 20 per cent following yesterday's signing of a Sh1.1 billion grant with Trade Mark East Africa for a new customs IT and revenue system.
The grant has been extended to TMEA by United Kingdom aid agency. TMEA will provide technical help to implementing agency, Kenya Revenue Authority. System installation is expected to take 18 months.
KRA commissioner general John Njiraini said the new system to be linked to neighbouring landlocked EAC countries on completion will cut down revenue leakages through cargo diversion.
TMEA chief executive Frank Matsaert said the system expected to eventually replace KRA's Simba will slash cargo clearance period to 12 hours from prevailing eight to nine days.
"We want to create an efficient trade corridor from the port of Mombasa into interior," he said.
Speaking after he signed the agreement,National Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich backed the new software to complement the National Single Window System set to be launched next month.
The fully automated single window initiative will allow one-stop clearance of goods at the port. The initiative will however work on pilot before launching fully in February, Rotich said.
He said successful automation of all port operations will reduce the transit time to four days.
It will be preceded by operationalisation of Single Customs Territory programme along the northern corridor that will go live end of this month, the CS added.
"Documentation will be processed at countries of destination and taxes due paid, after which goods will be released at first point of entry," he explained.
British High Commissioner to Kenya Christian Turner said his government was committed to supporting Kenya improve her underperforming trade and investment through "partnerships and not patronage."