Electronic customs system to reduce cost of business in Kenya

Importers and exporters in Kenya are set to benefit from increased competitiveness and reduced cost of doing business from reduced shipment delays and demurrage charges after President Uhuru Kenyatta assented to the National Electronic Single Window System Bill, 2021, on June 21.

The Bill empowers Kenya Trade Network Agency (KenTrade) to operate autonomously without the Exchequer’s funding. KenTrade facilitates cross-border trade.

KenTrade CEO Amos Wangora said; “The law will enhance the use of Single Window System by helping protect data,” stem fraud and exploitation in the logistics coordination system often faced by importers and exporters using the platform.

Mr Wangora said the law makes KenTrade a one-stop Customs release centre and offers electronic trade transactions. Before, traders needed to deal with more than eight agencies before cargo was released for import/export but the law will consolidate the agencies to work under the KenTrade system.

The law comes two months after KenTrade launched the Africa e-trade platform to handle the exchange of commercial documents. The platform is integrated in 22 countries, which are members of the African Alliance for Electronic Commerce.

According to the law, only the Single Window system shall serve as a single entry point and platform for any person involved in trade and transport to lodge documents electronically including import or export documents.

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