Economy, Business And Markets

Single-Window System to Facilitate Trade

Single-Window System to Facilitate Trade Single-Window System to Facilitate Trade

IRICA (Islamic Republic of Iran Customs Administration) is to implement the so-called ‘single-window system’ as of the new Iranian year (March 21) to help facilitate international trade, the Persian daily Forsat Emrooz quoted head of IRICA Masoud Karbasian as saying.

Trade facilitation and elimination of superfluous regulations are among the functions of the new system, according to a member of the board of directors at Iran Textile Specialists Association (ITSA) Alireza Haeri.

He stressed that authorities must take stock of unanticipated events that may impede the implementation process, and that all stumbling blocks must be “identified and resolved.”

“By digitizing trade and implementing the single-window system we can eliminate human errors in transactions, which will in turn help increase trade transparency,” Haeri explained.

The single-window system is a trade facilitation idea. As such, the implementation of a single window system enables international (cross-border) traders to submit regulatory documents such as customs declarations, applications for import/export permits, trading invoices, and investment permits to a single entity and/or single location.

In a non-single-window environment, traders have to deal with multiple government agencies in multiple locations to obtain the necessary papers, permits, and clearances to complete their import or export processes.

Economic specialist Parviz Hesabi deems that a single-window system will not only reduce bureaucracy, but will also help reduce administrative transgression.

According to him, a system that integrates technology and automation allows for more control and supervision, reduces redtape, and boosts efficiency.

“The single-window system and digitizing trade are the two most sophisticated and efficient devices that can be employed in the customs administration for trade facilitation,” he noted.

Reaffirming the merits of the system, member of Iran Scientific Commerce Association (ISCA) Roham Gholichi underlined the significance of a well-programmed infrastructure in optimum exploitation of the technique.

Gholichi, who is also an expert in strategic management, maintained that a large number of people in the border regions earn their living through trade, calling on pertinent organizations and decision-makers these people into account while shifting to electronic systems.

To protect people in the border regions against losing their jobs or having to relocate as a consequence of modern methods, the government must encourage them to launch manufacturing or industrial units at border regions by exempting them from tariff and tax payment,” he said.

The concept of single-window system is recognized and endorsed by several world organizations that are concerned with trade facilitation. Among these are the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) and its Centre for Trade Facilitation and Electronic Business (UN/CEFACT), World Customs Organisation (WCO), SITPRO Limited of the United Kingdom and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

UNECE promotes the single-window system as a facility for traders and investors in countries with economies in transition. It is noteworthy to say that trade information will be exchanged only once if an electronic method is employed.

According to electronic trade experts, the single-window system creates a comprehensive and standardized databank that helps reduce smuggling, administrative corruption, time-consuming procedures, as well as costs.