A cargo ship, MV MSC Portugal, docks at the Port of Mombasa. Insurance companies have agreed to work with the Kenya TradeNet Single Window information processing system to relay all the marine cargo insurance and customs bonds to importers and the Kenya Revenue Authority respectively.

Kenyan insurance companies have resolved to rely on only one single system to process all their customers’ marine cargo and customs bonds. Each of the nearly 40 general insurance underwriters and members of the Association of Kenya Insurers (AKI) agreed during a consultative meeting held on Wednesday at the head office in Nairobi, to work with the Kenya TradeNet Single Window information processing system to relay all the marine cargo insurance and customs bonds to importers and the Kenya Revenue Authority respectively.

Speaking after the meeting, AKI Executive Director/CEO Tom Gichuhi explained that the resolution was important for all the insurers to enhance efficiency and transparency of importation information processing, a major cog in the international trade wheel.

“During the AKI General Insurance CEO’s forum, member underwriters unanimously agreed that effective immediately, customs bonds shall solely be processed through the KenTrade – National Electronic Single Window System portal in line with government policy,” said Gichuhi.

He added that the marine cargo insurance will continue to be processed through the Kenya TradeNet System online portal provided by Kentrade and connected to the Kenya Revenue Authority-driven online system. The KenTrade portals provide integration between Kenya Revenue Authority, the insurers and all stakeholders in the import, export value chain

The AKI CEO said that the two portals were an important part of the marine cargo and customs bonds management and it was crucial for them to deliver a high, consistent rate of efficiency, cost transparency and effectiveness for Kenyan importers. This is on the back of enhanced legislation that has over the years consolidated information management processes for importers and reduced the cost of doing business.

“Insurance industry players are all aligned to the need to comply with government policy that calls for cargo handling agencies to interface their systems with KenTrade’s Single Window System portal ahead of the 1st  September 2019 compliance deadline set by the Head of Public Service Joseph Kinyua in a circular to all accounting officers of government agencies involved in the import export ecosystem. We support the decision to use a single window system as this will go a long way in harmonising and ensuring proper coordination of cargo logistics in Kenya,” said Gichuhi.

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The government, noted Gichuhi, was cognizant that the cost of doing business and efficiency at all ports of entry are contingent upon actions by all stakeholders including public sector agencies, shipping lines, clearing agents, insurers and cargo owners.

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