Singapore, Rwanda and Kenya’s Electronic Single Window Teaches Nigeria Lessons
While the Federal Government of Nigeria has been nurturing for years to introduce the one-stop electronic platform for cargo clearance at ports, shippers from East African countries and Singapore are reaping the benefits of such an installation.
Single Window is a facility that allows parties involved in trade and transportation to file information and documents with a single entry point to meet all regulatory requirements related to import, export and in transit.
Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Rwanda have fully adopted the Electronic Single Window system, according to a report by Trade Mark East Africa. They started with their heads of government coming together to usher in the system with one voice.
The introduction of a one-stop shop, which ensures that East African countries align their customs clearance systems with the new electronic platform, has made the clearance of goods faster and more efficient.
It has also created an improved business environment and introduced paperless customs clearance processes.
According to TradeMark East Africa, the system efficiently coordinates cargo clearance, facilitates data exchange between East African countries and supports cargo tracking from their checkpoint to the destination point.
“The platform has reduced the time it takes to clear goods through customs. For example, in the central corridor, it now takes three days instead of 18 days, while in the northern corridor, the dwell time has dropped from 21 days to 5 days,” the TradeMark East Africa report states.
BusinessDay findings show that the introduction of Single Window in Kenya started after President Uhuru Kenyatta approved the National Electronic Single Window System Bill, 2021 on June 21.
With the new law, importers and exporters in Kenya have begun to benefit from increased competitiveness and reduced costs of doing business through reduced shipping delays and demurrage charges.
According to the law, only the one-stop-shop system should serve as a single entry point and platform for anyone involved in trade and transport to electronically file import or export documents.
The Single Window system, which has been fully integrated with the Kenya Revenue Authority Customs Integrated Management System, also ensures 100% paperless compliance used for processing, approving and facilitating electronic payment of fees and levies due to the government, on all imports or exports. goods.
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Prior to the introduction of a one-stop shop, KenTrade, the state agency responsible for facilitating cross-border trade, said businesses faced both direct border-related costs, due to the expense of submitting documents to the competent authorities, and indirect costs resulting from procedural delays and unpredictable regulations.
The new system has brought together 42 stakeholders, with more than 10,000 registered users, including more than 35 permit/license/certificate issuing government agencies, known as partner government agencies, whose cargo clearance documentation has been automated through system integrations or interfaces with the Kenya TradeNet system.
Looking beyond Africa, Singapore‘s Maritime and Port Authority (MPA) launched a new Maritime Single Window system for port service transactions in October 2019.
The platform, which was developed in phases, combined 16 different forms into a single application, which was expected to save time for consignees and vessels.
With a one-stop shop, users were able to receive approval of arriving and departing vessels from the MPA, Immigration and Checkpoints Authority and National Environment Agency through a single platform .
In the second phase, the system was enhanced to allow digital booking of terminal and maritime services.