Simplifying Trade Processes for Kenya’s Competitiveness



Kenya will from tonight (2400HRS) upgrade the existing trade transactions into one electronic platform known as the National Payments Gateway (NPGS). The Payment Gateway that rolls out simultaneously with the integrated cargo clearance process known as National Electronic Single Window System (KNESWS) will enable traders to pay for Import Declaration applications, export and import permits issued by Government regulatory Agencies.KNESWS is being implemented by state agency, Kenya Trade Network Agency. Payments for the permits and other relevant levies will from today be processed under a seamless connectivity that will make the cargo clearance faster, more efficient and more transparent owing to its rigorous tracking and checks. This will however be initially confined to a limited number authorized economic operators KNESWS is integrated with the National Payments System (NPS) via a Payments Gateway (PG) to facilitate online payments for trade documentation (NPGS)which will provide an end to end trade logistics process. The development of the PG has been spearheaded by the Central Bank of Kenya National Payments System Operations Committee chaired by Director of Banking at the Central Bank of Kenya. This development has been in conjunction with KENTRADE and working with other key stakeholders such as Kenya Bankers Association (KBA), Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) and ICT Authority among others.

Yesterday the CEO of Kenya Trade Network Agency Mr. Alex Kabuga said payment gateway will ride on the Kenya Revenue Authority integrated electronic taxation platform (i-tax) which launched by the President last week. “All is set for the rollout and we usher in the significant phase of System pi loting and have taken all necessary measures to minimize disruption of customs operations which is the lifeblood of our economy. This explains why KRA will operate the payment system and also why we have adopted the phased out approach instead of the big bang,” he said Mr. Kabuga also clarified that the shift from the manual to electronic cargo clearance will be beneficial to the economic due to efficiency and increased productivity and therefore generates more jobs contrary to concerns for job loses. “As was the case with M-Pesa which many thought would lead to job loses but has instead generated more jobs. The Single Window System will save Kenya’s economy billions of shillings that are lost through wastages and inefficiencies and in effect create more jobs opportunities,” he said. He however stated that the full benefits of the Single Window System to the Kenyan economy would be felt by April 2014 after full implementation its successful implementation. Mr Kabuga said economies that have successfully implemented the Single Window Systems like Singapore and Malaysia in Asia and Mauritius, Ghana, Mozambique, Tunisia in Africa have improved their performance in the annual World Bank Index of Doing Business Survey particularly under the category of Cross Border Trade which is the key indicator of efficiency in clearance of cargo through the ports. The Single Window System Project is geared at improving Kenya’s global and regional competitiveness through integration of import cargo clearance and trade logistics processes that will eliminate inefficiencies, delays and wastages at the Port of Mombasa, Jomo Kenyatta International Airport cargo terminals and land border posts. It is funded by the Government of Kenya (GoK) with support from the Investment Climate Facility (ICF) and International Finance Corporation (IFC) is billed by Vision 2030 Secretariat as key success factor to infrastructure driven economic growth given its linkage to land, sea and air based trade.
For further more information, please contact:

Ann Odero Corporate Communications Manager Kenya Trade Network Agency Email: Cell: 0722 256 009 Tel.0202614887

Additional information

Kenya Trade Network Agency (KENTRADE) is a State Agency under the Ministry of National Treasury with the mandate to facilitate external trade and implement the Kenya National Electronic Single Window System (KNESWS) The Electronic Single Window System is platform that allows parties involved in trade and transport to lodge standardized information and documents with a single entry point to fulfill all import, export, and transit-related regulatory requirements. Key stakeholders – includes Kenya Revenue Authority, Kenya Ports Authority, Kenya Bureau of Standards, Tea Board of Kenya, Kenya Bankers Association, Kenya Shipping Council, Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Services, Kenya association of Manufacturers, Kenya Maritime Authority, Kenya Shipping Agents Association and Kenya ICT Board

The objectives of the Kenya National Electronic Single Window System (KNESWS) Project are:  To facilitate international trade in Kenya by reducing delays and lowering costs associated with clearance of goods at the Kenyan borders, while maintaining the requisite controls and collection of levies, fees, duties and taxes, where applicable, on imports or exports. Reduction of cargo dwell time at the Port of Mombasa to a maximum 3 days and a minimum of one day at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport over a period of 1 year after operationalization. At the border posts the Single Window System is expected to reduce the cargo dwell time for both transit and intra-regional trade consignments to a maximum of one hour.

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