INFOTRADE KENYA PORTAL
In May 2016, KenTrade commenced an ambitious project of implementing the Information for Trade in Kenya Portal (InfoTradeKenya), a web-based platform used by the Government to publish trade regulatory information from relevant Government offices, ministries and agencies to facilitate trade. This was after a realisation that access to information and understanding of the required regulatory procedures to import and export was a major challenge to traders and a barrier to new market entrants in Kenya.
The portal which is currently live and can be accessed via www.infotradekenya.go.ke, is an on-line platform which enables traders to access a comprehensive, step by step guide on all the requirements to import/export commodities in Kenya. By providing required information, the portal has assisted in lowering trade costs, reduced the time required to do business and cross borders and therefore contribute towards enhancing trade and investment in the country.
The objective is to provide the current, potential traders and other stakeholders with total transparency on rules and procedures pertaining to import and export formalities, through detailed, practical and up-to-date descriptions of steps to go through, as seen from the user’s point of view to assist them to make informed business decisions. It further aims at reducing the effort and time used by traders to access authentic information and documentation required for trade.
The portal together with the Kenya Trade Net System provides an end to end solution on regulatory and documentation requirements in the country and streamlines and simplifies trade processes for the business community. Implementation of the InfoTradeKenya is part of the Government’s initiative to facilitate trade in line with the World Trade Organization (WTO) Trade Facilitation Agreement, of which Kenya is a signatory.
Implementation of the portal has made Kenya to comply with WTO-TFA article 1.2 that obliges governments to be transparent and to provide information to businesses in the internet. The portal uses UNCTAD’s eRegulations system, a database designed to make administrative procedures transparent, swift and efficient
The development of the InfoTradeKenya Portal was supported by the TradeMark East Africa (TMEA) with technical assistance provided by the UNCTAD under supervision of the National Trade Facilitation Committee (NTFC). Stakeholders’ involvement and cooperation from trade-related agencies across the Government played a critical role in provision of the content and various procedures in the portal.