Paperless trade systems are often built around the notion of a single window for customs operations, which involves collecting trade-related data and documents and sharing them among participants. This process raises delicate issues. Besides general rules on privacy, data protection and data retention, specific legal texts may address data sharing, especially among public entities.
I.D.1 Are there agreements or policies for collecting, accessing, using and sharing data among government agencies participating in a paperless trade system?
Electronic facilities such as single windows aim at sharing information between traders and government and among government entities. In many cases, the right of a public body to obtain information is set in the law.
The use of electronic means for information collection and sharing may require additional safeguards. Hence, besides the general privacy and data protection law, a country may have laws or regulations governing collection, access, use and sharing of data among government agencies. These actions may be governed by a general public sector privacy statute. Often, however, such rules apply to specific contexts, such as single windows for customs operations or similar facilities relevant to paperless trade. These interactions may also be managed through Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs).
Moreover, the law may designate the conditions under which dedicated systems for exchange of trade-related information may be established and operated in an efficient and secure manner. For example, the Electronic Trade Facilitation Act 2015 of the Republic of Korea (discussed in I.C.7).
The conditions on and limits to collecting and sharing data among government agencies may vary significantly, especially if a general privacy and data protection law does not exist or does not apply to those agencies. For instance, one common and important rule limits data sharing for purposes other than those for which it was originally collected. It is therefore important to describe the main elements of the regime in place.