Shipping lines and agents operating in Kenya have started using the Maritime Single Window System (MSW) that enables them to electronically prepare and submit vessel pre-arrival and pre-departure declarations to the government agencies at the Mombasa port.
Kenya Trade Network Agency (KenTrade) with the Kenya Maritime Authority (KMA) have partnered in the implementation of the Kenya Maritime Single Window System -- an e-maritime module of the Kenya TradeNet.
"As part of our mandate for trade facilitation, KenTrade, through the e-maritime module (Kenya Maritime Single Window System) seeks to provide harmonised and simplified ship to shore clearance procedures to the maritime stakeholders," said the agency.
The use of this system was officially implemented on June 2 with all the ships docking at the Mombasa port expected to comply with it.
The system is meant to comply with the International Maritime Organisation Convention on Facilitation of Maritime Traffic known as the FAL Convention. Kenya is among the 120 governments (member states) that have ratified the FAL Convention.
The FAL Convention contains standards and recommended practices and rules for simplifying formalities, documentary requirements and procedures on ships' arrival, stay and departure by use of a single window.
Under this convention, the agencies and authorities involved exchange data via a single point of contact. KenTrade has been working together with KMA to implement an e-maritime module on the single window system to allow shipping agents in Kenya to electronically submit vessel pre-arrival and pre-departure FAL declarations to government agencies.
These agencies include Kenya Maritime Authority, Kenya Revenue Authority, Kenya Ports Authority, State Department of Immigration, Port Health, National Environment Management Authority, Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service and the Kenya Coast Guard Service.
The FAL forms have already been automated on the MSW for submission and approval by the relevant State agencies. These forms include IMO FAL Form 1 -- General Declaration, IMO FAL Form Two -- Cargo Declaration, IMO FAL Form 3 -- Ship's Stores Declaration, IMO FAL Form 4 -- Crew's Effects Declaration.
Others are IMO FAL Form 5 -- Crew's List, IMO FAL Form 6 – Passenger List, IMO FAL Form 7 – Dangerous Goods Manifest.
KenTrade is a State corporation under the National Treasury and Planning and its key mandate is to facilitate international trade in Kenya by managing the Kenya TradeNet System that is credited by the World Bank for enhancing customs clearance, increasing competitiveness and ease the cost of doing business in Kenya.