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The East African : Dec 1st 2014
52 NO MORE DELAYS The EastAfrican BUSINESS NOVEMBER 29 - DECEMBER 5, 2014 and offload cargo. The new terminal is expected to increase Mombasa’s container handling capacity from 771,000 to 1.2 million containers and help to reduce the clogging that has forced some port users to relocate to neighbouring Dar es Salaam. Mr Ndua said the port expan- sion, coupled with other infrastructure projects at the Coast — including the upgrading of Moi International Airport and the Nairobi-Mombasa highway, as well as the construction of the standard gauge railway — will serve to enhance Kenya’s status as a regional economic hub. “Efficiency at Mombasa also means that the port will be doing more business than before, considering that traders could multiply the number of transactions,” said Mr Ndua. Kenya is also building anoth- er port in Lamu as part of the Lamu Port-South Sudan-Ethiopia Transport Corridor, better known by the acronym Lapsset. Mombasa port, which also A section of the Berth 20, that is under construction at the Port of Mombasa. Picture: File New system to slash cargo clearance time at Mombasa port, other points The $18 million Single Elect≥onic Window System was launched on May 2 By CHRISTABEL LIGAMI Special Correspondent at the Kenyan port of Mombasa have until December 31 to migrate to the Single Electronic Window System before its full rollout. Starting January 1, all trade N transactions involving the agencies — including applications for permits, as well as payment and collection of taxes, fees, duties and levies needed in cross-border transactions — will henceforth be made through the new system. According to Alex Kabuga, the chief executive officer of the Kenya Trade Network Agency (KenTrade) — a state corporation set up to implement, operationalise and manage the National Electronic Single Window System — so far, 15 agencies are on board and are using the system but nine others are yet to join. “The target is to have all the 24 government agencies involved in cargo clearance at the port and border posts integrated with the single window by December 2014, which is in line with the Port Charter,” said Mr Kabuga. “The target is to have the con- figuration and training for these agencies completed in time for it to go live by January 2015 alongside all other government agencies.” The Agriculture, Fisheries and ine government agencies involved in cargo clearance Food Authority; Kenya Maritime Authority; Postal Corporation of Kenya; Anti-Counterfeit Agency; Kenya Police Service; Kenya National Chamber of Commerce & Industry; and the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Authority are yet to migrate to the electronic system. The Kenya Revenue Authority The target is to have all the 24 government agencies involved in cargo clearance at the port and border posts to be integrated with the single window system by December 2014.” Alex Kabuga, KenTrade boss (KRA), Kenya Bureau of Standards, Pharmacy and Poisons Board, Port Health and the Horticultural Crops Development Authority are already integrated in the system. Launched by President Uhuru Kenyatta on May 2, the Single Electronic Window System is expected to facilitate international and domestic trade at the port. It has been touted as the solution to the persistent delays at the major gateway to the region. The system will allow parties involved in trade and transport to lodge standardised information and documents at a single entry point. That is expected to reduce the time it takes to process goods through Customs at the port by half — from seven days to three. Clearance time to fall At the country’s airports, car- go clearance time will fall to just one day from five while at border posts it will take an hour instead of two days, sponsors of the $18 million project said. According to Mr Kabuga, since its launch, there has been a 40 per cent increase in trader and company compliance levels and this is expected to go up to 80 per cent by June next year. Mr Kabuga said efforts spear- headed by the East African Community Secretariat are under STANDARDISED DOCUMENTATION Launched by President Uhuru Kenyatta on May 2, the $18 million Single Electronic Window System is expected to facilitate international and domestic trade at the port. It has been touted as the solution to the persistent delays at the port. The system will allow parties involved in trade and transport to lodge standardised information and documents at a single entry point. That is expected to reduce the time it takes to process goods through Customs at the port by half way to have a regional electronic single window system that will be integrated into the EAC Single Customs Territory (SCT). A technical working group has been formed to work on the concept, he said. He however added that change of management for most companies from manual to digital systems has been a challenge. The integration of the Simba System into the Single Window System will be completed by December 31 and cargo declarations will henceforth be live and lodged through the new system. The government, through the Kenya Ports Authority (KPA), has been implementing the directive by President Kenyatta to the port authorities to improve operations at the facility in order to stimulate trade and cut transport costs. In the recently concluded Pan-Africa Ports Conference at — from seven days to three. At the airports, clearance time will come down to a day from five while at border posts it will take an hour instead of two days. According to Alex Kabuga, the chief executive officer of Kenya Trade Network Agency (KenTrade) — a state corporation set up to implement, operationalise and manage the National Electronic Single Window System — so far, 15 agencies are on board and are using the system but nine others are yet to join. the Kenyan Coast, KPA managing director Gichiri Ndua announced that 70 per cent of the ongoing construction of the second container terminal at the port of Mombasa is done and the works are expected to be completed by March 2015. The $327 million terminal will therefore be completed ahead of the 2016 deadline, the KenTrade boss added. Second container terminal “Construction of the second container terminal is already at 70 per cent, which means it is ahead of schedule and could be completed by March 2015 despite the fact that the completion time was set for 2016,” said Mr Ndua. He said the completion of the terminal and other ongoing port upgrade efforts will uplift its status to a world-class facility where bigger vessels can dock serves Uganda, Rwanda, DR Congo, Burundi and South Sudan, is overstretched, largely because of a sharp increase in imports into Kenya and the region. Kenya’s ultimate aim is to secure a geostrategic position as the key access to the Indian Ocean to serve the economic zone straddling the Nile Basin countries — a position Tanzania, too, is keen to achieve. Clearance still taking too long However, a stakeholder’s meeting on the initial findings of a survey on East African nontariff barriers held in Nairobi last week indicated that, while the recently launched SCT by the partner states is supposed to result in a seamless flow of goods to enhance trade and reduce costs for all stakeholders in the region, clearance of goods out of the port is still taking too long. Delegates from the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA), the Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) and the Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) said it took up to two days to generate and issue the exit note, which is supposed to take not more than an hour. “More revenue authority of- ficers should be stationed at the port by both countries and the SCT should automate the entire process, thereby eliminating delays,” they said in a statement. Rwanda issues the whole set of documents at one go online, which saves everyone a lot of time. However, it takes KRA 24 hours to process certificates of origin to exporters since it has to be done in one central point in Nairobi, causing delays in transportation of goods to destinations in the region. It also emerged that it can take up to 24 to 48 hours to get the service providers with the electronic seals to put on the ready truck because the providers do not have the seals readily available. The delegates said, there is a need for the service providers to have their seals available at any time.
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