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Trade Facilitation Agencies Draft Single Window Vision

Trade Facilitation Agencies Draft Single Window Vision
Single window workshop participants with Fiji Revenue and Customs Service chief executive officer Visvanath Das (sitting-second from left), Permanent Secretary for Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism Shaheen Ali (sitting-second from right) and World Bank facilitators at the Regional Training Centre in Nasese, Suva on August 14, 2018. Photo: Fiji Revenue and Customs Service.
August 16
12:41 2018

Conducted by World Bank facilitators, 23 trade facilitation agencies gathered to draft a workable ‘single window ‘vision customised for Fiji to ensure secure trade.

The workshop was organised by the National Trade Facilitation Committee (NTFC) at the Fiji Revenue and Customs Service (FRCS)complex in Nasese, Suva.

The two-day workshop concluded yesterday.

FRCS chief executive officer and chair of NTFC, Visvanath Das, said the Fijian Government has given a firm commitment to implement ‘single window’ following the ratification of the Trade Facilitation Agreement on February 22, 2017.

He said this would aim to increase efficiency and effectiveness for trade facilitation agencies.

“Fiji’s position as the hub of the Pacific and the trade and economic development opportunities available through the global trade opportunities as well as regional trade agreements needs to be capitalised on,” Mr Das said.

Mr Das said the 23 agencies aspired to construct one single window clearance system for traders and global supply chain actors.

He emphasised that every journey begins with a single step and highlighted the importance of each agency taking ownership.

Permanent Secretary for Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism, Shaheen Ali acknowledged the efforts of the Fijian business community for working with the Government in achieving its objectives.

He said this has improved Fiji’s overall trade performance and is helping to establish Fiji as the modern hub of the Pacific, as set out in the 5-Year and 20-Year National Development Plan.

Mr Ali said the creation of a single window system, for the co-ordinated submission and flow of import-export documents, is one of the most effective ways of expediting the movement and clearance of goods and ultimately improving trade.

“Essentially, a single window can be described as a system that allows traders to lodge documentation to achieve entry, clearance, and release of their goods, from a single convenient location,” Mr Ali said.

“A Single Window is intended to save time, eliminate redundancy, and lessen the administrative burden on the global trading community.

“In practice, the long-term objective is to transfer from a paper-based procedure to a single window electronic system.

“In order for the Single Window system to be effective, close co-operation and co-ordination between all departments and authorities involved are vital.”

Mr Ali said in order to progress the work on a single manifest, a time value survey is currently being undertaken, which will determine the actual time and cost savings of moving from the current system to the single manifest.

“In addition, FRCS is piloting an electronic platform which links all trade facilitation agencies to the Automated System for Customs Data (ASYCUDA) World.

“The agencies will be able to access manifests electronically and screen consignments for either clearance or further investigation,” he added.

Feedback:  maraia.vula@fijisun.com.fj

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