Government agencies involved in import and export business

KEBS has remained the premier government agency for the provision of Standards, Metrology and Conformity Assessment (SMCA). [iStockphoto]

When getting into the import and export of goods, you will find that there are a number of government agencies that will help the importer undertake his business.

These bodies are mandated to make sure that the laid down rules and regulations are followed to the letter and if the importer or exporter flaunts the stipulated rules, they take necessary actions. These bodies include:

Kenya Bureau of Standards

KEBS has remained the premier government agency for the provision of Standards, Metrology and Conformity Assessment (SMCA).

Some of the functions Kebs undertakes are to promote standardization in industries and commerce; make arrangements or provide facilities for the testing and calibration of precision instruments, to make arrangements or provide facilities for the examination and testing of commodities and any material or substance and the manner in which they may be manufactured, produced, processed or treated among others.

Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service

Kephis is a government parastatal whose responsibility is to assure the quality of agricultural inputs and produce to prevent adverse impact on the economy, the environment and human health.

Kephis function is to provide a science-based regulatory service by assuring plant health, quality of agricultural inputs and produce for food security, globally competitive agricultural products and sustainable development.

During the import of goods, Kephis supports compliance to market requirements.

Port Health Services

PHS plays an important role in trade facilitation through inspection of goods of public health importance at the Ports of Entry.

They utilise the provisions of the system to ensure that processes leading to certification of goods at Points of Entry such as inspection, verification, sampling and laboratory analysis are fast tracked, to ensure that all applications are processed electronically and completed.

 Agriculture and Food Authority

The Authority is the successor of former regulatory institutions in the sector that were merged into Directorates under the Authority, with the commencement of Crops Act, 2013 on 1st August 2014, including Coffee Board of Kenya, Kenya Sugar Board, Tea Board of Kenya, Coconut Development Authority, Cotton Development Authority, Sisal Board of Kenya, Pyrethrum Board of Kenya, Horticultural Crops Development Authority.

Agriculture and Food Authority – Integrated Management Information System

AFA IMIS System is a project by AFA for the automation of the AFA’s business process.

The role of the system is to enable traders importing and exporting crops acquire regulatory documents from remote locations and at their convenience without having to visit the agency.

It enable traders importing and exporting crops acquire regulatory documents from remote locations and at their convenience without having to visit the agency, it enables AFA to realize full efficiency gains.

It also prepares AFA for integration to the Kentrade - Trade Facilitation Portal (TFP), Mobile Payment Platform and other applications, it reduce administrative cost and time by eliminating paperwork through automated data collection and enable traceability of agricultural produce to the farm of origin through the use of GIS Improved Time to make decisions through intelligent market reporting tools

The Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority.

EPRA is tasked with promotion of competition, encourage market development, ensure customer choice and penalize abuse of market power in the electricity industry.

One of the functions of the Authority is issuance of licences for importation of petroleum products, solar batteries, refrigerators and freezers with compressors and air conditioners among others.

Pharmacy and Poisons Board

PPB is a body which regulates the manufacture and sale of drugs and poisons within the country.

According to a notice by Kebs and PPB, the importers of medical devices, food supplements, medical cosmetics, herbal products must obtain Certificates of Conformity (CoC) for their cargo before applying for Import Permits from Pharmacy and Poisons Board through the Kenya National Single Window Electronic (Kentrade).

Anti-Counterfeit Authority

ACA is a government agency to fight trade in counterfeit goods and promote protection of intellectual property rights in Kenya.

Which are the most counterfeited Goods? 

Goods that are commonly counterfeited include electronics, motor-vehicle spare parts, stationeries, food and beverages, LPG, movies and music DVD’s, and petroleum products, Luxury Goods and Fashion Apparels, Phones and Computer Accessories etc. Counterfeits affects every brand that is fast moving and can easily result to profits.

Where do counterfeit goods come from?

Far East Countries including South East Asia and China accounting for more than 80 per cent of the number of goods seized overall. We got local sources of counterfeits like alcoholic beverages and foodstuffs.

Communication Authority of Kenya

CA is responsible for facilitating the development of the information and communications sectors including; broadcasting, cybersecurity, multimedia, telecommunications, electronic commerce, postal and courier services.

When importing or exporting any telecommunication devices, one need to apply for a certificate from CA to show the items being traded have met the required standards. Some of these devices include; mobile phones, aerials, cctv cameras among others.

In conclusion, when importing or exporting your shipment and it requires any of these departmets’ permit, first you deal with the departments to avoid delays in clearance process then KRA will release your shipment in time.

The writer is a declaration expert at Airwagon Cargo Movers Ltd.

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