Driving efficiency in trade for Kenya's global competitiveness


Eliminating challenges related to processing of import and export cargo that have impacted Kenya’s business climate and global competitiveness remains a key pillar of the Government’s transformative agenda.

This is more so on international and cross-border trade where Kenya is undertaking robust reforms at the ports and border points through ongoing digitisation and automation through our trade facilitation transaction processes.

One of the key solutions has been the Trade Facilitation Platform (TFP), the online cargo clearance platform known as the National Electronic Single Window System, which is established under the Act of Parliament, the National Electronic Single Window System Act, 2022.

As a trade facilitation tool, the technologically enabled platform enables parties involved in international trade to submit regulatory import and export related documentation through a single platform.

Currently we have 39 partner government agencies (PGAs); of which 27 are permit issuing and 12 non-permit issuing integrated onto the system.

Most recently, to ease the mode of payment of trade transactions, KenTrade has integrated with the eCitizen payment gateway and you can

now also access our trade facilitation services from this platform. We have also successfully implemented the Information for Trade in Kenya Portal

known as InfoTrade Portal, an online platform that provides a comprehensive, single-point access to step-by-step processes of accessing international trade related services from respective PGAs in Kenya.

Implementation of the portal enabled Kenya to comply with Article 1 of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) to make trade related information available and accessible. Additionally, countries that have implemented the Single Window System have realised

faster and efficient processing of administrative requirements as goods pass through customs.

A recent study conducted by the World Bank Group on the impact of the Single Window System in Kenya revealed that the implementation of the system has resulted in streamlined import and export processes and procedures (including payment of fees), transparency in the processes and effective information sharing.

It also found that the system has facilitated a reliable and dependable platform on which stakeholders involved in international trade collaborate by enabling the importers and exporters to conveniently submit documents at their convenience.

Of interest to note is that as at June 30, 2023, the agency had mapped procedures for 122 commodities on trade regulatory information from government ministries and agencies that have a role to play in international trade.

This exercise will continue until such a time that we will have mapped processes for all tradable goods and services in Kenya.

As part of driving Kenya’s global competitiveness, KenTrade is also implementing a risk management module, which entails systematic identification and implementation of all measures necessary to limit exposure to customs risk by determining the persons, goods, and means of transport that should be examined and to what extent.

This, in essence, will reduce the time taken for PGAs to release consignments with targeted verification of only high-risk consignments. The module is fully operational and its adoption has made Kenya comply with Article 7.4 of the WTO TFA and the revised Kyoto convention.

It is also worth mentioning that the TFP has recorded remarkable progress. It serves over 18,572 users as at June 30, 2023, with an average of 700,000 transactions being processed annually.

In partnership with Webb Fontaine, a global leader in trade technology solutions, KenTrade is currently establishing a Digital Logistics Market Place (DLMP). This will be an online marketplace for trade, connecting businesses and private sector players, thus simplifying trade logistics.

It will offer business-to-business (B2B) services to traders with seamless search, find, and send capabilities, fostering growth, reliability, and empowerment.

TFP is largely government-to-business and we are venturing into B2B to complement the platform.

The DLMP will function as an integrated toolbox, introducing an innovative trade electronic platform that brings together numerous service providers in an integrated digital marketplace.

This platform seeks to empower participants to showcase their services online and compete for bids, fostering a competitive environment that drives efficiency and cost savings.

By bringing together a diverse range of stakeholders, businesses can confidently select the most suitable service providers at the best rates, ensuring optimised logistics and a streamlined supply chain.

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