Nairobi – Kenya is turning to online clearance of goods to cut by two-thirds the time it takes to move imports through the Port of Mombasa, and reduce the cost of doing business.
“The system will enhance service at the Mombasa port and increase the competitiveness of the Northern Corridor by reducing cargo dwell-time at all ports of entry,” said Kenya Trade Network Agency (KenTrade) chief executive Alex Kabuga.
The government will from October 31 deploy an electronic cargo clearance system at the port to replace the manual system, hoping to cut the clearance time from 10 to three days.
KenTrade, the body charged with rolling out the virtual one-stop cargo clearing shop, says the system will save the economy millions of dollars annually from delays, inefficiencies and corruption.
A study by the World Bank estimates that such delays cost shippers between $10,000 and $12,000 per day in demurrage fees, increasing the cost of doing business which is ultimately passed on to consumers. The platform will allow traders to lodge import and export trade documents electronically for processing and approval and to pay through digital channels such as bank wire transfer and mobile money.
KenTrade said the online solution will reduce cargo clearance at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) to a maximum of 24 hours and cut the cargo dwell-time for both transit and intra-regional trade consignments to a maximum of one hour.