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The East African : June 9th 2014
The EastAfrican 56 Special advertising section SINGLE WINDOW SYSTEM JUNE 7-13, 2014 Rwandan President Paul Kagame, left, launches the Kenya National Electronic Single Window System (Kenya Tradenet) at Safari Park hotel, Nairobi. With him are presidents Uhuru Kenyatta , Yoweri Museveni of Uganda and deputy president William Ruto. Pic: File Trade documentation now made simple At the border posts, the Single Window System is expected to reduce the cargo dwell time By A CORRESPONDENT The EastAfrican T he p≥evailing ine∞ciency of t≥ade documentation p≥ocesses has been the cause of the pe≥ennial p≥oblems of delays in clea≥ance of goods at Kenyan po≥ts, and which has ≥esulted in high t≥ansaction costs to t≥ade≥s. Howeve≥ with the launch of the Single Elect≥onic Window by the Kenya T≥ade Netwo≥k Agency (Kent≥ade) ea≥ly this month is expected to ease the p≥ocess by expediting and simplifying info≥mation flow between business people and the gove≥nment in o≥de≥ to b≥ing meaningful gains to all the pa≥ties involved in the c≥oss bo≥de≥ t≥ade. The ove≥all objective of the system is to facilitate inte≥national and domestic t≥ade in Kenya, by ≥educing delays and lowe≥ing costs associated with clea≥ance of goods at the Kenyan po≥t of Mombasa and bo≥de≥s, while maintaining the ≥equisite cont≥ols and collec- BENEFITS IT WILL LEAD TO SIMPLIFIED TRADE INFORMATION EXCHANGE; FASTER DOCUMENTATION PROCESSING; REDUCED ERRORS WITH MINIMISED DATA RE-ENTRY; IMPROVED EFFICIENCY AND TRANSPARENCY THROUGH ELIMINATION OF MANUAL PROCESSES tion of levies, fees, duties and taxes, whe≥e applicable, on impo≥ts o≥ expo≥ts. This will ≥educe ca≥go dwell time at the po≥t of Mombasa to a maximum of th≥ee days and a maximum of one day at the Jomo Kenyatta Inte≥national Ai≥po≥t, in Nai≥obi, in the next one yea≥ afte≥ ope≥ationalisation. At the bo≥de≥ posts, the Sin- gle Window System is expected to ≥educe the ca≥go dwell time fo≥ both t≥ansit and int≥a≥egional t≥ade consignments to a maximum of one hou≥. The Single Elect≥onic Win- dow will also b≥ing about g≥eate≥ ha≥monisation and bette≥ sha≥ing of the ≥elevant data ac≥oss gove≥nment depa≥tments/systems and ≥esult in imp≥oved e∞ciency, t≥anspa≥ency and e≠ectiveness of o∞cial cont≥ols enhancing ≥evenue collection while ≥educing costs of doing business fo≥ both the gove≥nment and the business community. Additionally, all manifests and ca≥go decla≥ations (sea, ai≥ and land) will be lodged th≥ough the Single Window platfo≥m which will t≥ansmit the same elect≥onically to the ≥elevant gove≥nment agencies fo≥ clea≥ance/app≥ovals and collection of gove≥nment ≥evenue. The Single Window is a win-win fo≥ all pa≥ties involved in inte≥national t≥ade in the ≥egion. Howeve≥, the cu≥≥ent clea≥- ing system fo≥ ca≥go at va≥ious bo≥de≥ points faces a numbe≥ of p≥oblems that comp≥omise Kenya’s ability to maximise on the benefits acc≥uing f≥om inte≥national t≥ade. Cu≥≥ently, documentation p≥ocedu≥es associated with inte≥national t≥ade in Kenya a≥e la≥gely manual, ≥esou≥ce-intensive and expensive. In addition, t≥ade≥s have to deal sepa≥ately with a multiple of gove≥nment agencies that have no elect≥onic systems. Single Window is basically a t≥ade facilitation tool. It is a facility in the fo≥m of an elect≥onic platfo≥m that allows pa≥ties involved in t≥ade and t≥anspo≥t to lodge standa≥dised info≥mation and documents with a single ent≥y point to fulfil all impo≥t, expo≥t and t≥ansit-≥elated ≥egulato≥y ≥equi≥ements. The platfo≥m has the in- telligence to elect≥onically disseminate ca≥go clea≥ance documentation ≥eceived f≥om shippe≥s to the ≥elevant autho≥ities fo≥ ≥elevant app≥ovals and p≥ocessing. Ca≥go documentation t≥ansmitted elect≥onically is submitted th≥ough the Single Window only once and the same is t≥ansmitted to the ≥elevant autho≥ities. In a Single Window envi- ≥onment, all the playe≥s in inte≥national t≥ade such as gove≥nment agencies (Customs, t≥anspo≥t, health and standa≥ds etc.), inte≥media≥ies (f≥eight fo≥wa≥de≥s, Customs, po≥t and te≥minal ope≥ato≥s) and expo≥te≥s/impo≥te≥s a≥e integ≥ated in one info≥mation technology gateway which is the Single Window platfo≥m th≥ough which they complete thei≥ p≥ocedu≥es fo≥ the movement of goods in a simplified f≥amewo≥k at minimum time and cost. The Single Window p≥oc- ess ≥emoves subjectivity since it is an elect≥onic p≥ocess with minimum human inte≥vention. The system has nume≥ous benefits to the economy, the what will change The Single Window is a winwin for all parties involved in international trade in the region. However, the current clearing system for cargo at various border points faces a number of problems that compromise Kenya’s ability to maximise on the benefits accruing from international trade. business community and to the gove≥nment To the economy, it will ≥e- duce t≥ade t≥ansaction costs; delays ine∞ciency, imp≥ove gove≥nance; ≥educe manual documents/pape≥wo≥k; ≥educe cost of capital; ≥educe and imp≥ove space and capacity utilisation. To the business commu- nity it will lead to simplified t≥ade info≥mation exchange; faste≥ t≥ade documentation p≥ocessing; ≥educed e≥≥o≥s with minimised data ≥e-ent≥y; imp≥oved e∞ciency and t≥anspa≥ency th≥ough elimination of manual p≥ocesses; lowe≥ business costs eg po≥t sto≥age cha≥ges, containe≥ demu≥≥age, labou≥ costs; inc≥eased global competitiveness fo≥ Kenyan p≥oducts and; imp≥oved t≥aceability. To the gove≥nment, the Single Elect≥onic Window will enhance ≥evenue yields; imp≥ove t≥ade≥ compliance; enable use of dynamic “Risk Management” techniques fo≥ cont≥ol and enfo≥cement pu≥poses; mo≥e e≠ective and e∞cient deployment of ≥esou≥ces; availability of t≥ade statistics; enfo≥cement of cont≥ols laid down by domestic policies and inte≥national ag≥eements; Currently, documentation procedures associated with international trade in Kenya are largely manual, resourceintensive and expensive. In addition, traders have to deal separately with a multiple of government agencies that have no electronic systems. imp≥oved inte≥national competitiveness of Kenya, fo≥eign di≥ect investment and t≥ade. The Single Window System will be integ≥ated with the national payment system via a payment gateway to facilitate online payments fo≥ t≥ade documentation which will p≥ovide an end-to-end t≥ade logistics p≥ocess. This is not a new concept. It is in use in count≥ies such as Singapo≥e, Ko≥ea, Malaysia, Tunisia and Ghana. Based on p≥esent volume of goods impo≥ted and t≥ansited th≥ough the count≥y, it is estimated that the ≥esulting annual savings to the Kenyan economy du≥ing the fi≥st th≥ee yea≥s will ≥ange between $150 million and $250 million annually. This will inc≥ease to between $300 million and $0.35 billion annually in subsequent yea≥s. In Singapo≥e and Malay- sia whe≥e the Single Window System has been in ope≥ation fo≥ ove≥ 10 yea≥s, the savings to the economy a≥e $1 billion and $500 ≥espectively annually. In Ghana, the≥e was a 35 pe≥ cent inc≥ement in Gove≥nment ≥evenues fo≥ th≥ee yea≥s consecutively afte≥ the ≥oll out of the single window.
June 2nd 2014
June 16th 2014