Possibilities and benefits of Single Windows
There is no standard structure of a Single Window (SW), since operators customise their systems based on their specific national/regional requirements and conditions. The state could be financing the SW (Finland, Sweden, United States), or it could be financed by the private sector (e.g. Guatemala, Germany) or a private-public partnership may finance it (e.g. China, Malaysia, Mauritius, Senegal, Singapore).
The use of Single Window facilities can be mandated (Finland, Guatemala, Mauritius, Senegal) or it could be on a voluntary basis (China, Germany, Malaysia, Sweden, United States). The services provided under the SW could vary and could be free of charge (Finland, Sweden, United States) or be based on various payment schemes (Guatemala, Germany, China, Malaysia, Mauritius, Senegal, Singapore).
Regardless of the above differences, a huge majority of the participating countries speak highly of their experience with Single Window Systems. And all in all, the benefits and revenues of Single Window Systems, outweigh the establishment/operational costs across the board.
A Single Window provides substantial gains to all stakeholders in the cross-border trade ecosystem. A few of the benefits of single window include:
- Border clearance performance
- Trade visibility
- Ease of Doing Business
- Correct Revenue Yield
Governments across the world have benefitted from Single Windows. Some benefits for government include – Correct revenue yields, Improved trader compliance, SWs enable the use of sophisticated “risk management” techniques for control and enforcement purposes and More effective and efficient deployment of resources.
From the point of view of trade, some benefits include – Cutting costs through reducing delays, Faster clearance and release, Predictable application and explanation of rules, and More effective and efficient deployment of resources.
And, the numbers speak for themselves. After the introduction of SW in Singapore, the processing time for trade documents went down from 4 days to 15 minutes. To lay the groundwork for SW, Thailand has implemented procedural reforms and customs modernization. These reforms have removed superfluous processes and decreased the number of days for exports from 24 days (in 2006) to 14 days (in 2009). In the Republic of Korea, the total savings from the use of uTradeHub for businesses (an automated information transaction system) are estimated to be 1 billion and 818.9 million USD. In Hong Kong, China the annual cost savings through their automated information transaction system are estimated to be about HK$1.3 billion.
Some of the key benefits of the DTTN to the trading community and the HKSAR Government include – improved operational efficiency, enabling new business opportunities, integration on global initiatives, shielding the industry from frequent upgrades and many more.