Kenyan Single Window System switches to a user-fee mechanism for its funding


A legal notice by the National Treasury of Kenya dated December 24, 2019 established that the Kenyan trade community will cover from now on the cost of the Kenyan Single Window (SW), the Kenya TradeNet System. The new fees, which are expected to be demanded from 1st March 2020, are something new in Kenya, because the government has so far wholly funded the operating costs and maintainance of such a system. But recently, the Kenyan authorities realised that the SW expenses are too high to be borne by the Government in full. Accordingly, a user-fee scheme needs will be imposed on the trade community in order the SW to continue its activities.

According to the news circulated, the basis for calculating the fees will be a combination between a fixed price per year (Sh 5,000 for registration to the system), and a price per transaction (for instance, an application for Unique Consignment Reference/UCR number in the system will costs Sh750 per UCR, while an arrival notification for any the impending arrival notice of a consignment will cost Sh7,500 per ship). In the meantime, many traders are concerned that such fees will increase the cost of doing business in Kenya, an argument that Kentrade, the government agency that administers the system, has dismissed.

The Kenyan Single Window System was rolled out in 2013 to provide Kenyan traders with a single platform to process import and export cargo documentation, by automating data collection. It currently serves 12,000 users and processes close to 800,000 transactions annually.The system brings together 35 permits, licenses and certificates from various government issuing agencies whose cargo clearance documentations have been interfaced with the  KenTrade system. It is also linked to financial institutions (banks, mobile payment solutions) through Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) iTax System and the governments eCitizen platforms.

Read more on the Kenyan Tradenet system.