In progress

Introducing risk-based pre-arrival processing

Strengthening Kenya’s position as East Africa’s key trade hub


Kenya is already a key regional trade hub in East Africa, acting as a gateway for imports and exports to neighbouring landlocked countries.  Yet without an effective risk-based pre-arrival process, traders face lengthy, burdensome and unpredictable formalities at borders. A formal, structured and systematic approach to risk management by border agencies can change this.

What we are doing

We are working with the government and the private sector to introduce fully-automated, paperless processing which allow traders to supply information on goods and for customs officials to prioritise before shipments arrive at borders. It will significantly reduce the number of physical inspections for low-risk shipments, speeding up clearance and release of goods and creating a better business environment.

  • Our project involves:assessing the supply chain in Kenya and analysing the import process
  • identifying best practice for pre-arrival and related processes
  • developing a target model for pre-arrival processing
  • supporting the legal and regulatory reforms required to implement the project
  • developing a risk process map and a detailed process description for pre-arrival processing
  • developing a training and HR development plan
  • providing training for customs and other government officials, as well as private sector stakeholders
  • testing and piloting the risk management system and pre-arrival process


The introduction of risk-based pre-arrival processing is a win for the government, the private sector, and the wider Kenyan population. It will:

  • expedite clearance and release of goods
  • improve risk assessment allowing customs and other boder agencies to facilitate low-risk shipments and focus their resources on high risks
  • increase the balance between ensuring compliance and minimising disruption and cost to legitimate trade and the public
  • increase staff awareness about pre-arrival processing and risk management

Monitoring and evaluation

We are monitoring and evaluating the project throughout its duration. Key indicators include:

  • percentage of all “green channel” shipments which are released upon arrival without inspection
  • percentage of shipments processed through the upgraded IT system
  • percentage of importers that are satisfied with the upgraded IT system for pre-arrival of manifest and declaration

Private sector support

In Kenya we are looking for businesses to get involved in a wide range of activities including:

  • sharing experience and knowledge on risk processes, best practice, legal and regulatory reforms
  • providing training and capacity building
  • supporting project management development and roll-out
  • promoting the project to stakeholders

Project structure 

Phase 1


Analysis and planning

Phase 2


Design and development

Phase 3

In progress

Training and piloting

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