The Star (Nairobi)

26 June 2014

Kenya: Poisons Board Roots for Online System

THE Pharmacy and Poisons Board has urged the pharmaceutical industry to take advantage of the recently launched national electronic single window systems, the online data submission platform, to facilitate trade, customs clearance, enhance competitiveness and reduce cost of trade.

The board's registrar, Kipkerich Koskei said the system is expected to boost trade by easing clearance processes of pharmaceutical goods from the Port of Mombasa.

If integrated fully, the platform is expected to reduce cargo handling from 48 to 24 hours at the port. It will give pharmaceutical traders a single platform to lodge cargo clearance documents, he said.

The online portal will enhance medicine safety and curb counterfeit drugs.

The system was launched by regional heads of state including President Uhuru in May, in Nairobi.

It integrates more than 24 government agencies and provides various payments modes, including mobile money and 24 commercial banks.

The government agencies include PPB, Kenya Revenue Authority, Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service, Kenya Bureau of Standards and Kenya Ports Authority.

"It is intended to make imports and exports easier for pharmaceutical companies. This will in turn reduce the cost of pharmaceuticals and translate to affordable medicines for Kenya," said Koskei in a speech read on his behalf by PPB director of inspectorate, surveillance and enforcement Dr Ahmed Mohamed during a stakeholders training in Nairobi yesterday .

The portal provides a single point of access for the Kenyan trading community to electronically submit and receive approval from regulatory agencies.

Koskei said the technology, also known as Kenya TradeNet System, will make it possible to submit information about goods to multiple government agencies in various locations.

He said the PPB participation in the national electronic single window system is intended to reduce non-tariff barriers on pharmaceuticals.

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