Nairobi — Kenya has launched a cargo clearance system that will facilitate faster, efficient trade and improve the business environment.
President Uhuru Kenyatta, who launched the system last week, said the full implementation of the system will have a major positive impact on business in the region.
This includes reducing the cargo clearance process at the Port of Mombasa to a maximum of three days and at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport to a maximum of one day.
President Kenyatta also urged East African countries to work at implementing a single window system in their countries. This is an idea that was mooted a couple of months ago and has been on the cards for a while.
"The full implementation of the Kenya TradeNet System will have a major positive impact on business in the region. It is, however, instructive to note that the benefits from this initiative may not be fully realised at the regional level unless all of us in the region adopt National Single Window Systems. The Cabinet Secretaries and ministers in charge of East African Affairs, working with their National Treasury colleagues, should move this agenda at the EAC level and encourage partner states to work together in the realization of this concept," he said.
He advised the EAC to also implement a regional single window platform, which will integrate the national single window system in partner states.
"This will provide an efficient platform for data exchange among the respective government agencies within the partner states for cargo being cleared through any of the ports within the EAC region," he said.
President Kenyatta said the benefits of the single window will be realized when the supporting infrastructure is in place to ensure efficient evacuation and movement of goods once they have been cleared at the ports of entry.
The system will simplify international trade logistics that involves submission of large volumes of information and documents to Government authorities to comply with import, export and transit-related regulatory requirements.
"Implementation of the concept will also provide an efficient platform for data exchange among Government agencies among partner states for cargo being cleared through any port within the EAC region," the President said.
According to Rwandan President Paul Kagame, the project will support the East African integration and lower the cost of doing business.
Deputy President William Ruto said the Electronic Single Window System will make the region more competitive to attract more investors.
The single window allows parties involved in trade and transport to lodge standardised information and document with a single entry point to fulfill all import/ export and transit related regulatory requirements.