A new digital service to help ease cargo clearance has been launched.
The system rolled out by Kentrade — a state agency mandated to facilitate cross border and international trade in Kenya — will help give the status of import and export trade transactions.
Kentrade said importers and exporters can now track processing of their trade transactions via SMS services
“You can now track the processing of your cargo clearance every step of the way using your phone via SMS No.22392. We have now empowered traders to monitor processing of their imports and exports documents using their mobile phones,” read an announcement by the State agency.
The service can be used to track the status of manifest, permit, bonds, IDF and Marine Cargo Insurance.
Traders will pay Sh10 for every SMS request.
The new innovation is part of efforts to eliminate challenges related to processing of goods at the port.
Shippers Council of East Africa CEO Gilbert Langat said the service has the potential to facilitate trade.
“If the service will provide real-time information on location, status and intervention it may assist in improving productivity, efficiency and value in trade facilitation,” said Mr Langat.
The state agency has also announced plans to roll out a watch list screening platform to allow checking of the credibility of international traders before transacting business with them.
In 2014 an online cargo clearance platform known in Kenya as the Kenya TradeNet System was launched. KenTrade chief executive Amos Wangora said Kenya’s electronic single window system has helped importers and exporters save billions since it was launched in 2014.