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Kenya needs more time to meet maritime single window systems

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Kenya has applied for an extension in order to meet UN deadline for the implementation of the maritime single window system by April, officials said on Friday.

Amos Wang’ora, chief executive officer of the Kenya Trade Network Agency (KenTrade), told Xinhua that Nairobi is unable to comply with the International Maritime Organization (IMO) Convention on Facilitation of Maritime Traffic known as FAL Convention.

"We have applied for an extension to the IMO until June and we have informed them we could not make it due to procurement issues which caused delays," Wang’ora said.

KenTrade signed a partnership agreement with TradeMark East Africa (TMEA) for the enhancement of Kenya’s Single Window System to improve on its performance and eventually enable faster and efficient trade processes.

Under the deal, KenTrade will receive about 150 million shillings (about 1.5 million U.S. dollars) to enhance usage of the National Electronic Single Window System (Kenya TradeNet) as well as the implementation of the Maritime Single Window in Kenya.

Wang’ora said that Kenya has completed the business requirements for the development of the maritime system and is only remaining with the implementation of the digital platform.

He observed that Kenya is among the 120 governments that have ratified the FAL Convention.

The official noted that the FAL Convention aims at promoting measures to bring uniformity and simplicity in the documentary requirements and procedures associated with the arrival, stay and departure of ships engaged in international voyages.

"The convention recommends the use of the ‘single window’ concept in which all the agencies and authorities involved in ship and passenger clearance should exchange data via a single point of contact," he noted.

Wang’ora said Kenya is currently working on the development of the FAL forms which will be automated in the Maritime Single Window for submission to the relevant authorities for pre-arrival approval by the relevant government agencies.

Ahmed Farah, country director for TMEA Kenya, an organization formed to help regional states speed up integration said the TMEA is committed to growing prosperity through trade in the Eastern Africa region.

"We recognize the impact of the single window on the trade value chain. That is why, we are committing to support the enhancement of the single window system in order to increase its capacity as an effective trade facilitation tool," Farah added.

TMEA is also supporting KenTrade in building capacity in data processing and reporting as part of this initiative through acquisition of a business intelligence tool and its integration to the Single Window System.

Farah said that the partnership between TMEA and KenTrade has been on-going for a number of years and previously TMEA has supported KenTrade in designing a business model and tariff regime to ensure the sustainability of the Single Window System services.

TMEA has also partnered with KenTrade in building the capacity of a number of partner government agencies and integration of their systems with the Single Window System.




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