Traders expediting the processing of certificates will now enjoy improved services among cost reduction following a 7.5 million collaboration between Trade Mark East Africa (TMEA) and the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce Industry (KNCCI) to support design and development of an online portal that will automate issuance of certificate of Origin.
By signing this Financing Arrangement TMEA commits itself to support this important step that KNCCI is taking to embrace the use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) in enhancing Kenya’s trade environment. ICT will ensure that the Chamber is capable of providing effective, efficient and reliable controls and facilitation of trade. It will create more transparency and speed in the issuance of the ordinary Certificate of Origin and thereby actively play its facilitator role in enhancing a friendly trade environment.
TRADE INDUSTRY MILESTONES
The move is a milestone in the Kenyan trade industry which has previously ran certificate acquisition manually. The manual process has in the past complicated the ability of KNCCI and other trade authorities to authenticate and verify certificates. Time delay, about to be a thing of the past has been cited a major problem with the manual system which has had costs involved run in the millions of shillings annually. With the new system, both import and export products will have a reliable platform to verify certificates in manner that does not delay clearance of Kenyan exports in these markets.
On the other hand, Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry will be able to register members online from County Chambers as well as at National level. This will enhance recruitment process for the body which will also see application, verification, approvals and payments undertaken online.
The online portal is in response to the challenge exporters’ face in accessing manual certificates of origin including delays. The move is in line with trade facilitation objectives of the Kenyan Government which will also enhance security of the exports documents .Additionally, KNCCI stakeholders will apply for certificates online and will readily access relevant trade information, apply for and renew membership, as well as submit payments online.
In addition to establishing the portal, KNCCI will also roll out training and sensitization of stakeholders on its use and a communication plan to ensure the portal is not only efficient but also useful. TMEA will see to it that the chamber increases market access and improves market environment therefore increased competitiveness in the industry.
KNCCI trade portal is part of government digitization process which will also include other agencies including Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS), Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) through an interface with the Kenya National Single Window currently in development by the Kenya Trade Network Agency (KENTRADE)