Manufacturers launch standards to ease goods clearance at points of entry - Beaking Kenya News

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Thursday, 19 November 2020

Manufacturers launch standards to ease goods clearance at points of entry

 

Manufacturers have launched standards aimed at enhancing efficiency and accountability at the ports and border points in the country.

The Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) developed by the Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM) seek to ensure better and more efficient entry operations to facilitate trade and enhance the fight against illicit trade.

The Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) will provide a one-stop reference for all government agencies tasked with ensuring efficiency and accountability in the inspection, verification, and clearance of imported cargo at the port and points of entry in Kenya.

The latest baseline survey conducted by  Anti-Counterfeit Authority shows the government lost Sh102.9 billion in revenue to counterfeited and other forms of illicit trade in 2018, up from Sh101.2 billion in 2017.

According to the report, building, mining and construction sectors were the most affected, with a share of 23.37 per cent in value of total illicit trade, followed by energy, electrical and electronics at 14.67 per cent in 2018.

The sector with the most government revenue loss was food, beverage and non-alcoholic drinks with a share of 23.19 per cent, followed by textile and apparel at 20.09 per cent.

Speaking at the launch, Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Industrialisation, Trade, and Enterprise Development Betty Maina highlighted the government’s commitment to sustain the fight against illicit trade in the country, adding that the vice poses a great threat to the realisation of the Government’s Big 4 Agenda.

“The development of these SOPs is therefore an integral part of a successful quality system. They will provide information to perform a job properly and consistently to achieve pre-determined specification and a quality end-result,’ Maina said.

She assured the private sector of the government’s commitment to continue enhancing efficiencies and accountability during the inspection, verification, and clearance of imported goods at our ports of entry.

“Sustaining the fight against various forms of illicit trade shall enhance the realisation of the Government’s Big 4 Agenda,’ she said.

KAM chairman Mucai Kunyiha said enhanced public and private sector partnerships will go a long way in ensuring that there is sustainability in the fight against the various forms of illicit trade in Kenya.

‘The lack of harmonised Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) emerged as a major bottleneck in the execution of various anti-illicit trade enforcement operations in the country,’’ Kunyiha said.

He added that the implementation of these SOPs would assist to increase efficiency and accountability at the ports of entry whilst cutting down on costs and time involved in the importation process.

Acting executive director Anti-Counterfeit Authority Fridah Kaberia said the fight against illicit trade must be enhanced and intensified.

''We applaud KAM for developing the SOPS. This is an attempt to bring all actors to harmonize work and reduce delays for the benefit of agencies, and manufacturers,’’ Kaberia said.

Clearance efficiency especially at major points of entry will also see traders save cash in demurrage charges. 

The Kenya Ports Authority gives four free days to clear consignment, after which storage charges start applying.

Shipping lines on the other hand give between seven and nine and before demurrage charges begin counting while the  Kenya Airports Authority gives only two days storage free. 

In addition to the SOPs,  KAM  has also published the Enforcement Manual, which serves as a quick reference point on matters of illicit trade including protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights.

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