The Kenya Trade Network Agency (KenTrade) has announced plans to simplify trade procedures for Hass Avocado and Fish in the current financial year 21/22 in a bid to lowerย  administrative burden costs for traders.

Speaking to a Nigerian delegation who visited KenTrade head offices in Nairobi on a benchmarkingย  exercise, KenTrade Director, Trade Facilitation David Ngarama said, the move is aimed at reducing theย  time and cost of trade for the two commodities.

Kenya mainly imports frozen tilapia, frozen mackerels, sardines, prawns and salmon among others whileย  the country exports frozen nile perch, tuna, octopus, whole tilapia and lobsters notably to the Europeanย  Union.

Avocado on the other hand has been a major contributor of the earnings in the horticulture sector. Lastย  Year, Kenya topped Africaโ€™s avocado exports and was among the world top 10 producers. Avocadoย  farmers earned Sh14.48 billion between January to November 2021.

KenTrade is in partnership with GIZ in this simplification exercise.

Other stakeholders involved in the exercise include KEPHIS, Horticultural Crops Directorate (HCD),ย  Directorate Public Health, Port Health Services, Department of Veterinary Services (DVS), Kenyaย  Fisheries Services, County Directorate of Fisheries, State Department of Trade (NTFC) Kenya Fishย  Processors and Exporters Association (AFIPEK), Avocado Society of Kenya, Avocado Exportersย  Association of Kenya.

KenTrade has been able to map out procedures for ninety-five (95) commodities, which include allย  procedures of export, import and transit on the trade information portal, dubbed InfoTradeKenya Portal.

“Upon mapping the procedures, the team started simplification of trade procedures in 2018. To date,ย  procedures for export of coffee, tea, meat & meat products, flowers, nuts & oils, and cotton have beenย  simplified, reducing cost and time for a first-time trader, with simplification of avocado and fish ongoingย  in the current financial year,” he added.

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The simplification process has reduced the administrative and cost burden incurred by businesses, moreย  specifically in the registration procedure from Kes.40,197.35 (USD 402) to Kes.15,287.29 (USD 153) thus saving businesses a total of KES 24,910.06(USD 250), approximately 62 percent of the total cost.

The delegation from the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment in Nigeria visited KenTradeย  head office in Nairobi to benchmark Kenya’s success with the InfoTradeKenya Portal, as they plan toย  launch their own national trade information portal in the course of this month.

The Portal managed and supervised by KenTrade has become an international best practice regardingย  Trade Facilitation. With more than 130’000 visitors in 2021, the portal helped many private operatorsย  (especially MSME) to overcome the hurdles of trade administrative procedures.

The delegation included Abu Ndah Ali, National Coordinator of the Portal, Usman Abdullahi, Assistantย  Chief Commercial Officer; and Ahmed Zungeru, Principal Trade Officer, Federal Ministry of Industry,ย  Trade and Investment in Nigeria.

“Kenya is a big brother in Trade Facilitation, and we would like to learn from their success, our aim is toย  understand how to simplify the trade documentation process in a bid to enhance trade prospects in ourย  country,” said Ahmed Zungeru, Principal Trade Officer, Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade andย  Investment in Nigeria.

InfoTradeKe development partners include: United Nations Conference on Trade and Developmentย  (UNCTAD), Trade Mark East Africa (TMEA), International Trade Centre (ITC), under the umbrella of theย  National Trade Facilitation Committee (NTFC), and USAID.

InfoTradeKenya portal offers trade information at the touch of a button, traders can perform all tradeย  procedures with less time-consuming interactions. Traders are also empowered with prior informationย  to comply with regulatory requirements for exportation and importation of goods.

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The Portal is visited by over 10,000 users monthly

Last month a foreign delegation from Gambia Maritime Administration visited KenTrade head office inย  Nairobi to benchmark on the Single Window System, the TradeNet System, that simplifies trade andย  approval processes between the international business community and the regulatory and permitย  issuing state agencies.

The benchmarking visits to KenTrade comes at a time when KenTrade is celebrating 10 years ofย  facilitating Kenyaโ€™s global trade. KenTrade is the founder member and current President of AAEC.

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