enTrade had as of June 30, 2023, mapped procedures for 122 commodities on trade regulatory information from government ministries and agencies that have a role to play in international trade as it seeks to unveil more ease of doing business projects.
This has been done with the partnership of GIZ, which has helped KenTrade in the implementation of the Information for Trade in Kenya Portal also known as InfoTrade Portal.
This is an online platform that provides comprehensive, single-point access to the up-to-date step-by-step processes of accessing international trade-related services from relevant Partner Government Agencies (PGAs) in Kenya.
Implementation of the portal enabled Kenya to comply with Article 1 of the World Trade Organization (WTO) Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) to make trade-related information available and accessible.
“The mapping exercise continues to reveal that some of the procedures are lengthy, cumbersome, and inefficient. Consequently, we have continued to work with relevant regulatory agencies and the private sector to simplify the respective process,” KenTrade Chief Executive, Mr. David Ngarama told participants during a stakeholders’ sensitization workshop held on 15th September 2023 at EKA Hotel.
He added; “This financial year, we are working towards simplifying the tea, milk, and milk products procedures to simplify trade. This exercise will continue until such a time that we will have mapped processes for all tradable goods and services in Kenya.”
GIZ – Global Alliance for Trade Facilitation was represented by Mr. Kelly Nyaga. The agency has been a key partner that has walked with KenTrade through its trade facilitation journey and the supported in enhancing Kenya’s international trade competitiveness, Ngarama added.
So far, the simplification exercise has seen a reduction in duplication of steps and documentation as well as cost for Coffee, Tea, Meat and meat products, Flowers, Nuts and Oils, Cotton, Avocado, Fish, leather, and minerals where 53 procedures have undergone simplification, 45 steps have been eliminated and 66 required documents have been removed.
Other key milestones include 21 steps that can now be completed online with Ksh 218,611 administrative burden cost savings for these procedures and 93 hours of waiting time in the queue, at the counter, and in between steps.
“GIZ has also been instrumental in the implementation of the risk management module in our Trade Facilitation Platform (TFP),” Ngarama said.
The Risk Management module entails a 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 reduces the time taken for PGAs to release consignments with targeted verification of only high-risk consignments.
“The module is fully operational, and some PGAs are utilizing this module effectively. Adopting the module made Kenya comply with Article 7.4 of the World Trade Organization (WTO) Trade Facilitation Agreement and the revised Kyoto Convention,” Ngarama added.
The TFP, he noted, has recorded remarkable progress. The platform had served over 18,572 users as of June 30, 2023, with an average of 700,000 transactions being processed annually.
“Thus far, we have onboarded a total of thirty-nine PGAs with Kenya Copyright Board (KECOBO) going LIVE today bringing this number to 27 permits issuing and 12 non-permit issuing PGAs, Ngarama said, adding that most recently and to ease the mode of payment of trade transactions, KenTrade has integrated with the e-Citizen payment gateway and users can now also access trade facilitation services from the platform.
In partnership with Webb Fontaine, a global leader in trade technology solutions, KenTrade is currently establishing a Digital Logistics Marketplace (DLMP).
This will be an online marketplace for trade, connecting businesses and private sector players, thus simplifying trade logistics. It will offer Business – 2 – Business 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 Business to Business services to complement the Single Window System services and improve trade logistics,” Ngarama told participants.
The DLMP will function as an integrated toolbox, introducing an innovative trade electronic platform that brings together shipping lines, trucking companies, freight forwarders, importers, exporters, warehousing firms, and insurance providers in an integrated digital marketplace.
By bringing together a diverse range of stakeholders, businesses can confidently select the most suitable service providers at the best rates, ensuring optimized logistics and a streamlined supply chain.
“We believe that the DLMP will also significantly reduce the time stakeholders need to conduct their business operations. It is also expected to catalyze trade volumes and expedite e-commerce growth, playing a pivotal role in the digital economy,” Ngarama said.
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