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Global Trade Facilitation – A Single Window for Efficient Cross-Border Trade

What is a Single Window for Trade Facilitation?

Single Window (SW) is a broad term that describes an electronic facility that enables parties engaged in international trade and transport to submit all the data required to fulfil trade-related regulatory obligations simultaneously at a single entry point. With the help of this digital trade facilitation initiative, traders will have less paperwork to complete for import, export, and transit-related activities. It first appeared more than ten years ago and has since become a crucial part of reforms to trade facilitation. SW-specific elements are included in the Trade Facilitation Agreement of the World Trade Organization (WTO), which became effective in February 2017. An international single-window environment will allow information sharing for public and private sector stakeholders in global supply chains.

The National Single Window in Malaysia

Malaysia started looking for solutions to transition from conventional paper-based document systems to paperless information exchange in the 1990s to establish a paperless trading environment.

Information and communication technology (ICT) was reshaping the economic environment, and as supply chains adopted paperless initiatives, global trade was progressively becoming “borderless.” Electronic trade facilitation was believed to become crucial for a country like Malaysia experiencing significant economic growth. In August 1993, Dagang Net Technologies Sdn Bhd launched its Electronic Data Interchange (EDI), the first Single Window (SW) for trade facilitation.

Malaysia created the National Single Window, which has been operational since 2009, creating a single trading gateway. The Malaysian government’s project is being spearheaded by the Ministry of Finance. Dagang Net Technologies Sdn Bhd designed, ran, and administered the NSW for Trade Facilitation system (Dagang Net).

The NSW in Malaysia uses technology to speed up government delivery of services and facilitate trade. It enables the resubmission of data through a single point (single window). It allows the re-use and synchronised processing of data from relevant parties. It offers the efficient release of cargo from relevant authorities.

It serves as a platform for traders to enter their data electronically and as the main entry point for trade in Malaysia. MyTRADELINK, a web-based tool, is used to accomplish this quickly and affordably. This platform enables traders to execute trade-related operations and electronically communicate their data with other parties throughout the trade supply chain in a paperless, electronic trading environment.

Malaysia’s NSW for Trade Facilitation connects processes 100 million+ electronic transactions annually. It’s also connected with more than 30 Permit Issuing Agencies, and 50 authorities and comprises 6 core eServices*.

* (“Dagang Net Technologies Sdn Bhd”, 2022)

Different Regions and Best Practices

The regional single window phenomena, an organisational and ICT design wherein groups of trade nations intend to connect their single national windows to a cooperative regional single window, has slowly grown over the past few years. Leaders of this kind of project include the European Union, Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), each of which has a slightly different goal.

For instance, the European Union is working to increase the effectiveness of border crossings inside the commercial bloc of Europe. The development of a secure supply chain is a concern for APEC. To help regulators follow dangerous commodities from the manufacturer or supplier to the ultimate end user, it incorporates the idea of an end-to-end supply chain track and trace system. When and when they are proven, these strategies can likely be used with any Harmonized System (HS) code or commodity type.

Smuggling, hijacking, and other illicit acts aimed at undermining ECOWAS national government authority, as well as national revenue losses along the international West African roads used to transfer products between as many as 14 West African countries, are of concern to ECOWAS. By applying the principle of “my export is your import,” ASEAN strives to increase efficiency in import and export across the ten ASEAN countries by deploying standard-format documents in each member nation.

Key Components and Characteristics of Single Window Architecture include:

  • Central repository for applications, risk management, and the worldwide standard master data model
  • Open standards for system integration and interface with all relevant components (Enterprise Application Interface)
  • Data/information exchange protocol and security between systems of all Single Window components inside a country as well as between Single Windows within a region.

Digitalisation and the Changing Landscape of Trade Facilitation Reform

For the majority of nations, integrating digital technologies into trade facilitation reform is essential. In fact, a product’s data may be just as important to its cost-effective and quick movement as the product itself. This is becoming true as trade is moving toward being paperless and policies are being delivered and followed through digital channels.

To create “future-proof” national policies, it is necessary to coordinate the essential legal and technological communities. Disparate and emerging laws, such as regulations, agreements, framework treaties, and provisions, draw attention to this need.

Modern supply chain models also demand that policies be reformulated to consider the expanding range of channels and forms of policy delivery. These models specify relationships between data entities in international sales and transit contracts.

However, the results of the 2019 global survey by the United Nations on digital and sustainable trade facilitation show that governments have been slow to implement ICT solutions. According to the survey results, measures for transparency have, on average, been implemented at a rate that is about half that of measures for cross-border paperless trade. 

On the other hand, after the implementation of TFA, institutional cooperation measures have advanced in the majority of the nations, and NTFCs are beginning to be viewed as permanent fixtures. Global business has not yet been fundamentally altered by technology-enabled policies, with average progress for paperless measures standing at 63% and for cross-border paperless trade measures at 38.6%.

Looking for digital trade facilitation solutions for your trade business? contact us at https://www.dnex.com.my/contact

Dagang NeXchange Berhad is a pioneer in Trade Facilitation and is a Malaysian Nasional Single Window platform provider 

Advancing the digitalization of trade with partnerships: National Trade Facilitation Committees as a platform for policy modernization. UNCTAD. (2022). Retrieved 28 September 2022, from https://unctad.org/news/advancing-digitalization-trade-partnerships-national-trade-facilitation-committees-platform.

(2022). Retrieved 28 September 2022, from https://tfig.unece.org/contents/single-window-for-trade.html.

Dagang Net Technologies Sdn Bhd. Dagangnet.com. (2022). Retrieved 28 September 2022, from http://www.dagangnet.com/.

Single Window for Trade Facilitation: Regional Best Practices and Future Development. ESCAP. (2022). Retrieved 28 September 2022, from https://www.unescap.org/resources/single-window-trade-facilitation-regional-best-practices-and-future-development#:~:text=Single%20Window%20(SW)%20generally%20refers,at%20a%20single%2Dentry%20point.

Single Window for Trade Facilitation: Regional Best Practices and Future Development. Gica.global. (2022). Retrieved 28 September 2022, from https://www.gica.global/resources/single-window-trade-facilitation-regional-best-practices-and-future-development.

Advancing the digitalization of trade with partnerships: National Trade Facilitation Committees as a platform for policy modernization. UNCTAD. (2022). Retrieved 28 September 2022, from https://unctad.org/news/advancing-digitalization-trade-partnerships-national-trade-facilitation-committees-platform.

Kementerian Perdagangan Antarabangsa dan Industri. Miti.gov.my. (2022). Retrieved 5 October 2022, from https://www.miti.gov.my/index.php/pages/view/1149.


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