Single Window Requirements

The Single Window is an intelligent platform that makes it possible for importers, exporters and government agencies to exchange information easily and efficiently. The single window requirements can typically be classified into three stages; Pre-arrival, Arrival, and Post Arrival.

Pre-Arrival Checklist

Some of the documentation required and services provided include

  1. Cargo Manifests
  2. Trade Declarations
  3. Financial Guarantee
  4. Risk Assessment

Arrival Checklist

Documentation required and services provided include:

  1. Cargo declaration
  2. Cargo Inspections
  3. Cargo Tracking
  4. Delivery Order
  5. Payments
  6. Release Order

Post Arrival Checklist

Services provided and processed include:

  1. Bonded Warehouse
  2. Fines and refunds
  3. Transit management

Throughout the three stages, the different documentation and services provided by the Single Window provide the following advantages to facilitate trade:

  1. Integrates Maritime Authority, Port, Customs and other governmental agencies
  2. Greater security as it is developed using industry-standard best practice and processes
  3. Better efficiency and transparency which enhances the speed of clearance of goods

Permits & Licenses – Requirements

Permits and Licenses can now be submitted through the single window. Traders and governmental agencies can now exchange permits, licenses, and certificates electronically through the Single Window systems. The services provided and the documentation required can be divided into Pre-Arrival, Arrival, and Post Arrival stages.

Pre-Arrival Checklist

The following are some of the processes performed and services provided through the single window

  1. Trade licenses and permits submission
  2. Payments
  3. Trade licenses and permits approval
  4. Mapping of HS codes to internal product codes
  5. Decision tree analysis
  6. Risk assessment

Arrival Checklist

Once the goods have arrived the services and processes provided include

  1. Refunds and payments
  2. License and permit integration with cargo declaration
  3. Release order
  4. Cargo inspections

Post Arrival Checklist

Some of the processes and services include:

  1. Post clearance audit
  2. Risk Analysis
  3. Quota Management

Some of the advantages of the Single Window processing of licenses and permits include

  1. Single point of administration and submission of applications, making for greater efficiency
  2. Streamlining of trade compliance processes in trade
  3. One portal where all stakeholders can get documentation and approvals required

Port Community System Requirements

The Port Community System refers to an integrated information platform that handles a number of individual systems in one portal usually referred to as a Port Community. It works to reduce inefficiencies in business processes at the port, facilitates the smooth flow of electronic data, and helps business be compliant with directives, guidelines, regional, national and international regulations. This means that it enhances the movement of cargo and port related vessel traffic and facilitates the efficient exchange of data between stakeholders for a variety of reporting requirements.

Some of the requirements for inbound cargo include

  1. Unloading list
  2. The nomination of 2nd carrier
  3. Inspection release
  4. Customs release
  5. Delivery order
  6. Transport order
  7. Gate schedules
  8. Gate Appointment Booking

NOTE: Containerized cargo will typically have Bayplan management while general cargo will have cargo plan management.

Some of the requirements for outbound cargo include:

  1. Freight booking
  2. Shipping note
  3. Loading order
  4. Stowage instruction
  5. Transport order
  6. Gate schedules
  7. Gate appointment booking
  8. Pre-gate information
  9. Export manifest

NOTE: For containerized cargo, you will also need to have packing lists and empty container release.

Trade Analytics Requirements

It is critical to get a 360-degree view of trade processes and trade performances. Through the Single Window portal, all stakeholders can easily and efficiently obtain critical performance indicators. They can also look at trends, make comparisons and use that data for better decision making more effective strategies and policies.

  1. Trade Analytics – These are critical for policymakers who need to get regulatory and compliance data, which they can then use to make strategic policy decisions to enhance trade
  2. Permit Analytics – Decision makers can easily track licenses and permits that can then be used to monitor aspects such as revenue, risk analysis, quota utilization, and controlled cargo quotas.
  3. Port Analytics – Decision makers can get access to a range of data such as yard utilization, berth utilization, vessel waiting time, container dwell time, and throughput analysis among others.

Meet with various Ministries and Stakeholders to Review the “as-is” Process

Processes are an important component of the performance and operation of any system. Just like any other process, the establishment of a Single-Window requires a proper analysis of the “as-is” processes and the mapping of the future “to-be” processes.

The purpose of the Single Window is to migrate manual procedures into secured and optimized channels of information that will not disrupt or challenge the rights of stakeholders.

Therefore it is important to analyze existing business processes before the implementation of a Single Window. Implementation without consulting, analysis and reengineering of the processes within the different Ministries and stakeholder organizations will result in the reproduction of existing loopholes. As such, Single Window consultancy will help capture the interrelations and attributes of the process while identifying the roles of stakeholders in the system.

The Single Window consultancy involves the documentation of business processes highlighting the export and import processes such as the ones listed below:

  1. Points of decision and flow of activities in a specific order
  2. Stakeholders performing the given activities
  3. Transfer of information between stakeholders
  4. The interrelation between the stakeholders
  5. Outputs and inputs of each activity including associated rules and criteria
  6. The different stages as well as the costs and time needed to perform business processes.

The UN/CEFACT Modeling Methodology

One of the most effective ways of reviewing processes is through the UN/CEFACT Modelling Methodology (UMM). It is an approach that designs business services outlining the services that each stakeholder and business partner needs to provide to enhance collaboration. The UN/CEFACT Modeling Methodology has a guideline that Single Window implementation can follow to streamline business processes to make them compatible with global standards. Through UMM, you get a top-down approach that allows for the development of automated business systems in an incremental way.

Ministries and Single Window Consultancy

Line ministries such as Agriculture, Statistics and Customs & Excise need to be involved in the implementation of a Single Window. The reason for this is that there are alignment challenges such as the harmonization of data and procedures of the different ministries involved in import and export procedures. While customs often operated under its own customized model, we are moving towards international reference models such as the UN Core Component approach. The success of the Single Window initiative will depend on its capacity to link to the procedures and Single Window components of international business partners (such as regional bodies such as the EU or APEC).

Engaging with Ministries is critical for scoping decisions particularly on aspects of alignment with regional and national Single Window implementations. This alignment could turn out to be critical at later stages; for instance, compliance with internationally agreed-upon standards such as message and data formats might make or break the successful implementation of Single Windows. Some of the critical aspects will involve political consensus building and negotiations on the legal level aspects.

Prepare a Report Presenting the “to-be” Process and Receive Sign Off from Stakeholders

Once the current state of affairs has been established, it is time to establish what needs to be done and get the nod from stakeholders. It is at this stage that we develop and propose recommendations to eliminate inefficiencies and bottlenecks of documentary requirements and procedures in the business processes.

The recommendations in the report are aimed at:

  1. Reducing the cost and time in international trade
  2. Facilitating trade
  3. Enhancing transparency in trade procedures
  4. Improving security measures in a manner to ensure they do not hinder the conduct of business

Some relevant recommendations may include:

  1. Systematizing processes to enhance the sharing of transport and trade data between the different stakeholders
  2. Modifying relevant regulations and laws to promote the working of newly designed business procedures
  3. Eliminating unnecessary documentary requirements and redundant procedures
  4. Merging some procedures

The UN/CEFACT recommends that the following measures be taken to reduce the complexities in international trade transactions:

  1. Improve trust assessment through better information exchange
  2. Harmonize, and simplify trade processes and where possible get rid of needless ones.
  3. Facilitate the flow of information used to regulate the movement of goods by using communication and information technology
  4. Coordinate and simplify administrative procedures at border crossings
  5. Harmonize, standardize and simplify documents needed for trade
  6. Simplify payment systems
  7. Coordinate and simplify administrative procedures at border crossings

Through business process analysis, stakeholders get a better understanding of the workings of international trade. They get to understand regulations and rules involved, electronic messages, documents required, the interrelations between business procedures, who is responsible for the execution of the processes, and information flow.

Once the stakeholders have an understanding of the business processes and how they can be improved, they can then sign off to pave the way for implementation. The descriptions and recommendations in the report will then be the baseline for:

  1. Simplification of the business procedures to be automated by the Single Window
  2. Harmonization and simplification of documentary requirements
  3. Automation of international trade through the single window framework

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