E-portal for import cargo inspections now goes live

Kebs offices

The Kenya Bureau of Standards (Kebs) offices. Kebs said that it had successfully integrated its Information Management System (KIMS) with the Kenya Trade Network Agency’s Trade Facilitation Platform (TFP) which will now see all applications for certification go online.

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

Importers seeking to have their cargo inspected locally will apply for clearance through an online portal that goes live today.

The Kenya National Bureau of Standards (Kebs) said that it had successfully integrated its Information Management System (KIMS) with the Kenya Trade Network Agency’s Trade Facilitation Platform (TFP) which will now see all applications for certification go online.

“The integration has successfully automated submission of the local certificate of conformity (CoC), foreign certificate of conformity, and certificate of inspection through the TFP” Kebs said in a notice to traders.
“We, therefore, wish to notify all the stakeholders that effective November 30, 2022, the application for local CoC consignment documents and application for KEBS inspection and approval documents shall be lodged through the TFP and processed in KIMS” it added.

Kenya recently went slow on an import rule that required mandatory inspection of goods at the source, handing a major reprieve to small-scale traders.
The Trade ministry in 2019 declared that the rule was no longer compulsory and that importers were free to ship goods to be inspected locally “to ease delays and reduce the high cost of doing business”.

The Government had in December 2015, ordered that imported cargo must be inspected at the country of origin and issued with a certificate of inspection.
The ministry ordered Kebs to stop inspecting cargo at entry ports and directed all importers to shift to the Pre-Export Verification of Conformity to Standards (PVOC).

This means that all consignments on the PVOC arrive in Kenya after undergoing mandatory inspection at the market of origin by one of the five firms hired by Kebs and stationed in various parts of the world to perform quality checks. The firms include Cotecna Inspection SA, Bureau Veritas, and Intertek International.

The order to shift to PVOC programme came amid concerns that high volumes of uninspected goods at the port were fueling Customs tax evasion and allowing easy flow of counterfeits into the country.

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