Kenya Revenue Authority: State sets date for agencies to vacate port
Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) and Kenya Bureau of Standards (Kebs) are the only two government agencies that will be allowed to conduct cargo verification at the port of Mombasa and Inland Container Depot in Nairobi from September 1.
Other State agencies involved in cargo handling will operate from outside the port, Kenya Trade Network Agency (KenTrade) Chief Executive Officer Amos Wangora confirmed yesterday.
The directive, which is already being implemented, seeks to ease the process of importing and exporting goods and achieve better co-ordination and harmonisation of various interventions at the port in a bid to enhance efficiency and reduce the cost of doing business.
Previously, there were 24 government agencies conducting cargo intervention at the port resulting in inefficiencies, delays and confusion.
“What we are implementing now has already been done elsewhere. There is no efficient port where you will find 24 State agencies stationed there. This is a game changer for us,” said Wangora in Nairobi.
The move to reduce the number of State agencies operating at the port is in line with a directive issued by the Head of Public Service that all government agencies involved in cargo clearance interface with the Single Window System by September 1.
Single Window System is an electronic platform that serves as a single entry point for submission of cargo clearance documentations.
Through the system, parties involved in international trade submit import and export documentation through a single platform for processing and approval by the various government agencies.
So far, only two agencies, Communications Authority of Kenya and Kenya Civil Aviation Authority, are yet to integrate with the Single Window System to bring the total number of agencies on the system to 38.
The major benefit from the initiative, Wangora said, is elimination of possible redundant processes resulting in time and cost savings for importers and exporters.
He said the directive will enable KenTrade achieve paperless cargo clearance process and result in fewer interventions at the port.
Meanwhile, two MPs from Mombasa want former Prime Minister Raila Odinga to use the handshake goodwill between him and President Uhuru Kenyatta to influence for the removal of an order by the government demanding all cargo be transported by rail to the Nairobi Inland Container depot.
Mvita Member of Parliament Abdulswamad Nassir and his Kilifi Counterpart Omar Mwinyi accused Raila of remaining mum and allegedly abandoning a region that overwhelmingly supported him politically.
“We as the Coast people have always stood by Raila’s side and supported him. We even supported the handshake. ,” said Nassir.
Transport Cabinet secretary James Macharia had previously issued a three-week window during, which he undertook to consult with stakeholders on the directive but to date no consultations have been done.