Kenya recently signed a trade deal with the Chinese Government to export frozen avocados to China that will result in the Chinese market absorbing over 40 per cent of Kenya’s avocado produce, making it one of the largest importers of the fruit. With the availability of export procedures in the portal, traders will save the time, cost and effort that would be spent on searching for trade related information.
To facilitate the trade, Kenya Trade Network Agencies (KenTrade) has partnered with the Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Services (KEPHIS), the leading Government Agency responsible for the issuance of Phytosanitary Certificate and other regulatory Government Agencies, to document all the requisite procedures and up-to-date information on what it takes to export avocados.
The procedures that have been documented and published on exporting of avocados include how to obtain food hygiene license for the packhouse facility, packhouse inspection report, farm inspection report & export license, register as an exporter and to register for user training on Kenya TradeNet System, the online cargo clearance platform managed by KenTrade.
Other documented and published procedure for avocado export are on how to obtain Certificate of Origin, export clearance, Phytosanitary Certificate, export health certificate and also how to clear the avacado consignment at the customs. Under each bloc, traders will also find a step by step guide to the related procedure by accessing the dedicated portal, the Information for Trade in Kenya via InfoTrade from internet enabled device from any part of the world.
KenTrade Chief Executive Officer Amos Wangora says the implementation of the InfoTradeKenya portal is in compliance with Article 1.1 of the World Trade Organization (WTO) Trade Facilitation Agreement which encourages member states to publish and make information easily accessible to enable governments, traders, and other interested parties to become acquainted with them.
“InfoTradeKenya is platform which the Government uses for publishing trade regulatory information from relevant government offices, ministries and agencies that impose controls on trade.”
He added that the implementation of the portal has improved transparency, simplified the procedures used by traders to access information and process documentation. KenTrade has so far documented and published procedures of importing and exporting 56 commodities in to provide traders with a clear and accurate source of information on Kenya’s international trade procedures.
The development of the InfoTradeKenya Portal was in response to a gap identified in cargo clearance information among the trading community and the need to consolidate all the procedures into one portal that is accessible to everyone involved in International Trade.
The portal seeks to improve Kenya’s competitiveness by providing real time import, export and transit information to the trading community. KenTrade did the documentation and publication of the trade procedures with the technical support from United Nations Conference for Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and financial support from Trade Mark East Africa (TMEA).