Importers and exporters will have to pay to use the Single Window System, Kenya Trade Network Agency(KenTrade) has said.
The agency dismissed concerns that it will increase the cost of doing business.
This comes as it moves to upgrade its system which provides the sole trading platform for lodging entries and accessing trade approvals, mainly by government agencies.
Companies will now have to pay Sh5,000 [ZAR722] annually as registration to the Single Window System. Application for Unique Consignment Reference (UCR) number in the system costs Sh750 [ZAR108] per UCR.
Arrival notification for any the impending arrival notice of a consignment will cost Sh7,500 [ZAR1,080] per ship.
The charges have been approved by the National Treasury and Planning, following a legal notice issued on December 24 which became effective this month.
This is to support the cash-strapped government agency’s operations after Treasury cut its budget by more than a half.
KenTrade CEO Amos Wangora said the charge are informed by low funding by the exchequer,which is threatening sustainability of the Single Window Services.
“The agency has over the years relied on the exchequer for funding to run its operations as well as maintain the system, this funding has not been sufficient and has been declining over the years,” Wangora said.
The Single Window System was rolled out in 2013, providing a single platform to process import and export cargo documentation.
It currently serves 12,000 users and processes close to 800,000 transactions annually.
The system brings together 35 permits, licenses and certificates from various government issuing agencies whose cargo clearance documentations have been interfaced with the KenTrade system.
It is also linked to financial institutions (banks, mobile payment solutions) through Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) iTax System and the governments eCitizen platforms.
Source: article published in The Star, Kenya, 24 January 2020