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 Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM) seek to ensure better and more efficient entry operations to facilitate trade and enhance the fight against illicit trade.
Speaking at the Launch event on Tuesday, Industrialization Cabinet Secretary 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 realization of the Government’s Big 4 Agenda.
‘Our ports and other points of entry play a fundamental role in facilitating global trade. 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,’ said CS Maina.
‘I assure the private sector of 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 realization of the Government’s Big 4 Agenda,’ she added.
Speaking on behalf of the Deputy Head of Public Service and the National Coordinator for enforcement Multi-Agency Team against Illicit Trade Wanyama Musiambo, Ms. Fridah Kaberia, Ag. Executive Director, Anti-Counterfeit Authority noted that, ‘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.’
Also at the Launch, KAM Chairman Mr Mucai Kunyiha recognized that 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 harmonized Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) emerged as a major bottleneck in the execution of various anti-illicit trade enforcement operations in the country. The implementation of these SOPs will assist to increase efficiency and accountability at the ports of entry whilst cutting down on costs and time involved in the importation process,’ concluded Mr Mucai.
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.
In addition to the SOPs, the Association has also published The Enforcement Manual, which serves as a quick reference point on matters illicit trade including protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights and the Practitioners Guide for Enforcement Officers on Combating Illicit Trade, which is currently in use as a reference tool that highlights the various forms of illicit trade in Kenya, the laws relating to the illicit trade in Kenya and the procedures for the investigation and prosecution of illicit trade.