What is the Single Window?
A Single Window System is a complex government implementation of a trade facilitation system to make international trade easier by enabling the submission of regulatory documents to a single government body or multiple government agencies. If the documents are submitted online, most of the time you will have to submit the documentation only once. Common documentation usually includes trade declarations, cargo manifests, electronic certificates of origin, permits & licenses.
Single Windows typically develop in a linear and incremental fashion due to the complexity of required changes in trading practices, business processes, and complexity of implementing projects for a Single Window. There are usually 5 milestones that a Single Window will reach in its evolution of maturity. This journey is not always linear as some Single Window Systems can skip a level as it progresses technically over time.
5 Evolutionary Stages of a Single Window
Stage 1- Paperless Customs
Usually includes Paperless Customs + electronic payment of customs duties + electronic risk-based inspection
Stage 2- Regulatory Single Window
Integrated with the information systems of other regulatory agencies, they link customs and traders through paperless electronic documentation, customs procedures, and other related electronic submissions such as permits and certificates.
Stage 3- B2B Port Community System Port Single Window
At this level, the Single Window is integrated with systems of intermediaries at major borders, seaports, and airports, and those of private sector industry participants. Level three Single Windows are typically referred to as Port SWs or Port Community Systems.
Stage 4- Fully Integrated Single Window
This is an advanced Single Window with high levels of connectivity. It usually includes all the linkages found in level one and level two Single Window platforms. Additionally, it is expanded to include other industry actors such as carriers, trade, and bank finance, ship agents, cargo insurance companies, freight forwarders, and traders.
Stage 5- Cross-border Single Window Platform
In level 5 Single Window Platforms are integrated and interconnected into regional or bilateral electronic information exchange platforms.
Single Window Consultancy
During the Single Window consultancy, we will look into a number of processes and documents:
- Import permits
- Phytosanitary certificates
- Import/export licenses
- Import monitoring
- Duty concessions
- Personal effect shipments
- Import/export declarations
- Vessel arrivals
- Vessel departures
- Electronic certificates of origin
- Post clearance audit
- Delivery of cargo from seaports and airports
- Return of empty containers to the seaport
Single Window Consultancy Process
The above processes and documents will usually involve meetings with the following Ministries