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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 

Kenya pledges to enhance service
delivery for exporters, importers       

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- The Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) through the Customs and Border Control Department said on Friday that it has put in place various measures to facilitate operations of the recently launched Inland Container Depot (ICD) Nairobi.

KRA’s Commissioner of Customs and Border Control Julius Musyoki said the ability to profile cargo in advance will now be a reality following the amendment of the East Africa Community Customs Management Act.

Musyoki noted that the amendment aims to allow lodgment of manifest on departure by vessel from last port of call.

“With the amendment of this Act, we will now be able to receive cargo profile in advance. This will subsequently create room for direct loading from the Port. This is essential as it will significantly reduce the clearance time to six hours for the pre-arrival clearance cargo,” he said in a statement issued in Nairobi.

The measures, including a commitment to clear properly documented cargo within six hours are geared towards ensuring seamless facilitation from the port to the ICD for release of cargo as well as ensuring reliability on efficiency in service delivery at the facility.

According to Musyoki, other key initiatives that KRA has in the pipeline for enhancing efficiency of operations at ICD include introduction of Smart Gates, establishment of Integrated Scanner Command Centre, provision of additional scanners and application of data driven insights for security and risk management.

Efficiency at the ICD facility is further set to receive a major boost through the ongoing revamping of the Authorized Economic Operators (AEOs) program.

Musyoki observed that the AEO program will be revamped in the next two months through establishment of green channels (pre-arrival clearance), post clearance audit and establishment of the office of a relationship manager.

“For the green channel customers, there will be no verification at ICD. Their cargo will be cleared straight to destination. On the other hand, post clearance audits will only be done where there are issues,” Musyoki said, adding that this will substantially save time and cost.

He said KRA has already deployed a high performance team at the ICD facility; a team that will be headed by a Chief Manager for faster decision making and enhanced efficiency.

Musyoki said importers and exporters will now be empowered to make amendments on the manifest to allow change of destination port. This will be done without any charges.

He indicated that the linkage of the state-of-the-art Integrated Customs Management System, with other partner government agencies such as KPA, KEPHIS, Port Health, KenTrade and the Kenya Bureau of Standard, will also be a significant boost to service delivery at ICD.

“This will go a long way in making cargo intervention and information exchange faster and efficient,” he said.

           

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