We are developing a trade facilitation single window to provide a single entry point for all import export and transit related regulatory requirements, as a means of improving connectivity between Customs offices, port and terminal operators, other regulatory agencies and traders.
Once implemented the Single Window will allow importers and exporters to lodge documents electronically, and facilitate the exchange of information between government agencies and traders. It will reduce the traders’ points of contact from as many as five entities to one single entity, and the length of time from the current twenty days to as little as five days, an estimated reduction in transaction costs of approximately J$2 billion
According to the United Nations Centre for Trade Facilitation and Electronic Business (UN/CEFACT), a Single Window for Trade is “a facility that allows parties involved in trade and transport to lodge standardised information and documents with a single entry point to fulfil all import, export and transit-related regulatory requirements”.
Two of three main components of the single window are already ‘in train’:
- the implementation of the Customs Management System (Asycuda) has been launched and when completed will see customs declarations, shipping manifests, as well as accounting procedures, and transit and suspense procedures all being conducted electronically,
- the business processes of the various trade regulatory entities were reviewed as a first step towards integrating their existing information systems to create a fully automated web-based system that facilitates TRN validation, exporter registration compliance, and BSJ standards compliance, in addition to other types of validation necessary for processing declarations submitted by importers and exporters.
The third component, implementation of a Port Community System (PCS), is being pursued to provide an electronic messaging interface to facilitate the exchange of information along the supply chain. This activity however will await the results of the pilot implementation of Asycuda World.
While the majority of the trade regulatory entities have computerized some of their processes and offer some services online, these initiatives were implemented separately by each entity resulting in limited integration or coordination of those systems. Therefore even with some degree of automation, importers and exporters still have to visit multiple entities to complete approval processes and sign multiple physical documents. Once the processes are reengineered and the automated systems integrated, it is estimated that the time taken to import and export goods would be reduced by as much as 50% and the number of documents required reduced to two – permit/license and customs entry.
The implementation of the Single Window will require the further modernisation of other trade and border agencies to bring trade facilitation practices and standards in line with international good practice. As part of the effort to make trade easier, the Government, through the Strategic Public Sector Transformation Project, will support the restructuring of the Bureau of Standards Jamaica (BSJ) inclusive of a review and improvement of their testing and certification procedures and providing support for coordination enhancement and performance improvement interventions between Jamaica Customs Agency and other border agencies.
- [19/6/2017] At the beginning of 2016, a comprehensive trade facilitation programme was agreed to transform the entire trade environment; bringing together all trade agencies, eliminating several manual and lengthy processes and simplifying procedures for permits and licenses. Following leading international best practice, we have launched the Customs Management System, ASYCUDA which is already resulting in considerable time savings for traders. Following full roll out of the system, Jamaica is expected to significantly increase its doing business ranking.
Inter-agency coordination towards reducing the time and cost of cross-border trading has been improving since the implementation of the Customs Management System, ASYCUDA (Automated System for Customs Data) being led by The Jamaica Customs Agency (JCA). eGov Jamaica’s work with the Trade Regulatory Agencies and Jamaica Customs has culminated in the establishment of eTrade - an electronic interface with ASYCUDA that allows for the sharing of information among the Trade Agencies, and between them and the JCA. Phase 1 of the ASYCUDA-eTrade integration commenced in May 2016. An overseas firm is being engaged to implement the Port Community System (PCS), which is expected to be completed by 2018. The reforms underway in the JCA and the PAJ are being accelerated to make way for the introduction of the Electronic Single Window.
The reforms underway in the Customs Department and the Port Authority are being accelerated to make way for the speedy launch of the trade facilitation electronic single window.