A2 Level of Automation

It is not feasible for an organization or agency to consider implementing paperless trade systems without the ability to process electronic documents, information or data, let alone the subsequent cross-border data exchange.

A2.1 Electronic systems

A2.1.1 Has your country implemented Electronic Customs (or other services that facilitate customs declarations in an electronic format)?

A2.1.1.1 Does it have the ability to receive, process and issue documents electronically?

Background

Electronic Customs (e-Customs) is an automated Customs administration system with several electronic supporting functions to efficiently facilitate and effectively regulate Customs-related procedures. More specifically, key functions of the e-Customs system include: electronic and paperless lodgment of Customs declarations using online connections, the use of risk management software application to reduce Customs clearance times and less physical inspection of shipments, automated calculation and e-payment to facilitate collection of duties and taxes, and services to ensure the uniform application of laws and regulations.

e-Customs with the ability to receive, process and issue documents electronically and paperlessly related to Customs procedures is considered the first step towards the full implementation of broader paperless trade systems.

Expected Answers
  • Yes - Electronic Customs has been implemented and used. The system has the capability to receive, process, and approve the customs declarations electronically in a paperless environment integrating full workflow automation in a secure manner and with electronic payments.

    The system is also equipped with risk management and electronic information processing to facilitate automatic and semi-automatic customs release and customs inspections of goods efficiently.

  • Partially Yes - Electronic Customs system has been partially implemented and used i.e. some of the functions are electronically and/or manually processed.

    • The user may be able to submit customs declaration electronically but paper-based customs declaration must also be submitted, or
    • all or most of customs declarations are still processed manually, e.g. validated and approved on paper-based documents by customs officers, or
    • the approval status of the customs declarations is informed manually, or the user needs to receive them in paper-based formats, or
    • electronic risk management support system is not available for supporting the automatic release of goods, or for assisting customs inspections.
  • No - There is no usage of or no electronic system with the capability to receive, process and approve customs-related documents electronically.

Good Practices

The Revised Kyoto Convention requires the use of information and communication technology (ICT) and electronic means for Customs operations. World Customs Organization (WCO) has provided the Kyoto Convention ICT Guidelines for implementing Customs automation including project and change management. These guidelines cover several application areas of ICT, e.g. customs declaration automation, e-payment, risk management, release, transit, trade statistics and enforcement; system development process, project and change management; IT security; and legal aspects. The WCO Data Model is recommended as the standard for data and electronic messages. The implementation of this initiative includes a redesigning of existing Customs procedures, as well as harmonization of the various data requirements into a single data set. The projects of this nature need strong political leadership to manage the changes. Integration under Single window environment is the requirement under these best practices.

References and Case Studies

A2.1.1.2 Is it integrated with an electronic payment system?

Background

The ability to conduct payments of duties or other related payments electronically can facilitate and speed up trade and Customs related transactions. e-Customs should be implemented in such a way that it is integrated with an electronic payment system of commercial banks, for example, with the interconnectivity via e-Banking services, or electronic funds transfer services. Traders should be able to conduct payment online without visiting any physical Customs offices or banks to complete each payment transaction.

Expected Answers
  • Yes - Electronic Customs is integrated with an electronic payment system. Payments of Customs duties or related payments can be conducted electronically, e.g. via e-Banking, or electronic funds transfer, without visiting any physical Customs offices or banks to complete each payment transaction. The payment from Customs to the users is also integrated using this e-Payment service.
  • Partially Yes - Electronic Customs is partially integrated with an electronic payment system. The users still need to physically visit Customs offices to complete the payment transactions for duties, e.g. to swipe the credit cards, or to process payment-related transactions manually at Customs posts. In another scenario, a user may need to maintain a deposit account with Customs for electronic payment or payments facilitated through a single bank branch at a Customs location.
  • No - There is no electronic payment service related to or integrated with the electronic customs system. Payment of payments of duties is not conducted electronically but it must be completed by cashes, cheques or credit cards.
Good Practices

Customs administrations should cooperate with commercial banks to develop online solutions for duty/tax payment purposes. It is essential to consider the business arrangement such that the payment charges are reasonable and do not present an unnecessary burden to the users. The interconnectivity of the electronic Customs and the online banking or payment system must be implemented to support such electronic payment transactions. It is expected that the facility of e-Payment is integrated with majority of the banks across the country who offer such services so that enough of competition and options are made available to trade and industry.

References and Case Studies

A2.1.1.3 Does it have the capability to authenticate users electronically?

Background

Electronic Customs must have the capability to authenticate users electronically since it is necessary to establish confidence in user identities whenever the user interacts or transacts with e-Customs online.

Therefore, electronic Customs must have the capability of electronic authentication services. Digital authentication or electronic authentication works along with the authentication process to confirm or certify a person's identity and works. This digital authentication shall verify that a person is who he/she say he/she is when performing transactions online.

Expected Answers
  • Yes - The system has the capability to authenticate users electronically.

    The digital authentication system and associated processes are established such that the user's identity and work can be confirmed or certified. The system is used in conjunction with electronic signature to provide evidence of whether a declaration is performed or certified by the corresponding user.

  • No - The system does not have the capability to authenticate users electronically or it has no capability to ensure electronic signature on any documents.
Good Practices

There are several electronic authentication methods that can be used to authenticate a user's identity ranging from a password to higher levels of security that utilize multi-factor authentication. For most electronic Customs with the required high level of security, the user may need to prove his or her identity through the use of security tokens, challenge questions or being in possession of a certificate from a third-party certificate authority that attests to their identity. For example, the public-key infrastructure (PKI) or other highly-secure technology may be used.

References and Case Studies

A2.1.1.4 Does it ensure data/document security?

Background

A lot of important information is electronically transmitted between users and e-Customs, and also stored in the system. The capability of electronic Customs to resist, react and recover from any unauthorized access is very crucial to ensure data/document security. Therefore, electronic Customs system must have strong measures to resist attacks or to protect digital data, e.g. Customs declarations transmitted and/or stored in a database, from destructive forces and from the unwanted actions of unauthorized users, such as a cyberattack or a data breach attack.

For any authorized users, a mechanism for digital authentication or electronic authentication should work in conjunction with an electronic signature to provide evidence of whether data received have been tampered with after being signed by its original sender.

Expected Answers
  • Yes - Electronic Customs ensures data and document security. The system has strong measures to resist attacks or to protect digital data, e.g. customs declarations under transmission or stored in a database, from destructive forces and from the unwanted actions of unauthorized users, such as a cyberattack or a data breach attack. A mechanism for digital authentication for authorized users should work in conjunction with electronic signatures to provide evidence of whether data received have been tampered with after being signed by its original sender.
  • No - The system does not have strong measures to resist attacks or to protect digital data, e.g customs declarations under transmission or stored in a database, from destructive forces and from the unwanted actions of unauthorized users, such as a cyberattack or a data breach attack.
Good Practices

Encryption is a technology which protects information by converting data into unreadable code that cannot be deciphered easily by unauthorized people. Encryption uses encryption software or hardware to encrypt every bit of data that goes on a disk or disk volume, or on information during communication/transmission. It is used to prevent unauthorized access to data storage or data during transmission.

Software and hardware-based mechanisms can be used to protect data. Software-based security solutions encrypt the data to protect it from theft. Hardware-based security solutions prevent read and write access to data, hence offering very strong protection against tampering and unauthorized access.

Data backups are used to ensure data which is lost can be recovered from another source. It is considered essential to keep a backup of any data or any files.

References and Case Studies

A2.1.1.5 What is the percentage of trade covered under this system?

Background

The information about what is the percentage of trade covered under electronic Customs should be collected, analyzed and used to understand the adoption rate and coverage of the current automation system. The percentage of coverage, or what is the percentage of major ports, trade zones or Customs posts in the country using electronic Customs instead of paper-based Customs processes, could provide some insights on where electronic Customs should be established or expanded for further coverage to better facilitate trade transactions.

Expected Answers
  • High (70-100%) - The percentage of trade covered under Electronic Customs is high, or most major ports, trade zones and Customs posts have used Electronic Customs.
  • Medium (20-69%) - The percentage of trade covered under Electronic Customs is medium, or few major ports still use paper-based processes.
  • Low or None (0-19%) - The percentage of trade covered under Electronic Customs is low or none. Most ports use paper-based processes, or only some steps are operated electronically.
Good Practices

A feasibility study or data collection about Customs-related procedures and document requirements is normally conducted and analyzed. The purpose of this study is not only to understand the current situations abut also to analyze bottlenecks and identity improvement opportunities, especially to propose the feasibility to establish e-Customs or expand its coverage to more major ports, trade zones or Customs posts.

A comprehensive feasibility study is a key element of the overall analysis and development. It should determine the potential scope, the user needs, possible scenarios for implementation, potential for and nature of a pilot implementation, resources required e.g. financial, human, technical, etc., potential benefits and risks, a time frame, and an implementation and management strategy. This study could be based on direct face-to-face interviews with key players in both government and transport/logistics service providers, complemented by questionnaires to collect information from a wider circle of potential participants and users.

References and Case Studies

A2.1.1.6 Are community partners/stakeholders connected to it electronically?

Background

All of community partners/stakeholders especially those business users, e.g. traders, customs brokers and freight forwarders, should be connected to electronic Customs to reap its benefits. All community partners/stakeholders involving with trade regulations e.g. relevant government authorities responsible for issuing import/export/transit certificates and permits, should also be connected to electronic Customs to provide better trade services and coordination.

Expected Answers
  • Yes - Most or all of community partners/stakeholders especially those business users, i.e. customs brokers and freight forwarders, are connected to the customs system electronically. Most or all community partners/stakeholders involving with trade regulations, i.e. Ministries and other government agencies responsible for issuing import/export certificates and permits, are also connected to the electronic customs system.
  • Partially Yes - Some but not all community partners/stakeholders especially those business users, i.e. customs brokers and freight forwarders, are connected to the electronic customs system. Many of them still interact with paper-based customs procedures.
  • Partially Yes - Some but not all community partners/stakeholders involving with trade regulations, i.e. Ministries and other government agencies responsible for issuing import/export certificates and permits, are connected to the electronic customs system.
  • No - Community partners, i.e. customs brokers, freight forwarders, Ministries and other government agencies involving with trade regulations, are not connected to the electronic customs system.
Good Practices

Business community partners/stakeholders should understand and recognize the benefits of electronic Customs. They should be trained and equipped with the capability to connect and utilize electronic Customs effectively. In many countries, awareness events, conferences and training programmes are regularly conducted, especially when there are any new or additional trade facilitation features, and electronic services.

References and Case Studies

 

A2.1.2 Has your country implemented Electronic Port (including air, sea, road, rail and inland ports)?

A2.1.2.1 Does it have the ability to receive, process and issue documents electronically?

Background

Electronic Port (e-Port), or a Port Community System (PCS), is a neutral and open electronic platform enabling intelligent and secure exchange of information between public and private stakeholders in order to improve the competitive position of the sea and air ports’ communities. Electronic Port should have the ability to receive, process and issue documents electronically to facilitate procedures among stakeholders within ports including air, sea, road, rail and inland ports.

e-Port could optimize, manage and automate port and logistics processes through a single submission of data and connecting transport and logistics chains. This system should handle electronic communication in ports between the private transport operators (shipping lines, agents, freight forwarders, stevedores, terminals, depots), the private hinterland (pre- and on-carriage by road, rail and inland waterways), the importers and exporters, the port authorities, Customs and other authorities.

Expected Answers
  • Yes - Electronic Port (e-Port), so called Port Community System (PCS), has been implemented and used in major sea, air, road, rail and inland ports in the country. The system has the capability to receive, process, and issue documents electronically in a paperless environment integrating full workflow automation in a secure manner and with electronic payments.
  • Partially Yes - e-Port has been partially implemented and used for some major sea, air, road, rail and inland ports in the country, and with only few electronic types of information exchange, i.e. some of the functions are electronically and/or manually processed.
  • No - No e-Port system has been established to coordinate transport and logistics processes in any sea, air, road, rail or inland ports in the country.
Good Practices

Electronic Port is an electronic platform which connects the multiple systems operated by a variety of organizations that make up a seaport, airport or inland port community. It is shared in the sense that it is set up, organized and used by firms in the same sector - in this case, a port community.

e-Port in general provides a range of services and key features as followings:

  • Easy, fast and efficient electronic data information exchange, re-use and centralization, available 24/7/365
  • Customs declarations
  • Electronic handling of all information regarding import and export of containerized, general and bulk cargo
  • Status information and control, tracking and tracing through the whole logistics chain
  • Processing of dangerous goods
  • Processing of maritime and other statistics

The successful implementation of e-Port is directly related to the design of its business model. Issues related to ownership, the operation model, revenue streams, and services orientation need to be defined based on the stakeholders involved. The key challenge to successful implementation lies in overcoming resistance to change among different public and private stakeholders.

It is suggested to integrate UN/CEFACT Recommendations No. 36 on Single window interoperability.

References and Case Studies

A2.1.2.2 Is it integrated with an electronic payment system?

Background

Electronic Port should be integrated with an electronic payment system such that payments of transport and logistics services related to port operations can be conducted electronically, e.g. via e-Banking, or electronic funds transfer.

Expected Answers
  • Yes - The exiting e-Port is integrated with an electronic payment system such that payments of transport and logistics services related to port operations can be conducted electronically, e.g. via e-Banking, or electronic funds transfer. The payment from the e-Port system to the users is also integrated using this e-Payment service.
  • No - There is no integration of e-Port with any electronic payment system.
Good Practices

The port community and the entity in charge of the e-Port implementation should cooperate with commercial banks to develop online solutions for electronic payment purposes. It is essential to consider the business arrangement such that the payment charges are reasonable and do not present an unnecessary burden to the users. The interconnectivity of the e-Port and the online banking or payment system must be implemented to support such electronic payment transactions. It is expected that the facility of e-Payment is integrated with majority of the banks across the country who offer such services so that enough of competition and options are made available to trade and industry.

References and Case Studies

A2.1.2.3 Does it have the ability to authenticate users electronically?

Background

Electronic Port should have the ability to authenticate users electronically. The electronic authentication system and associated processes must be established such that the user's identity and work can be confirmed or certified.

Expected Answers
  • Yes - The system has the capability to authenticate users electronically. The digital authentication system and associated processes are established such that the user's identity and work can be confirmed or certified. Used in conjunction with an electronic signature, it provides evidence of whether a document or data are sent, performed or certified by the corresponding user.
  • No - The system does not have the capability to authenticate users electronically.
Good Practices

Electronic Port must be established with the capability of electronic authentication services and associated process to establish confidence in user identities electronically. Digital authentication or electronic authentication works along with the authentication process to confirm or certify a person's identity and works. When used in conjunction with an electronic signature, it provides evidence of whether data received has been tampered with after being signed by its original sender. This digital authentication would verify that a person is who he/she say he/she is when performing transactions online.

There are several e-authentication methods that can be used to authenticate a user's identity ranging from a password to higher levels of security that utilize multi-factor authentication. For e-Port with the required high level of security, the user may need to prove his or her identity through the use of security tokens, challenge questions or being in possession of a certificate from a third-party certificate authority that attests to their identity. For example, the public-key infrastructure (PKI) or other highly-secure technology may be used.

References and Case Studies

A2.1.2.4 Does it ensure data/document security?

Background

Electronic Port must ensure the security of data and documents electronically collected, communicated, processed and stored within the system. Several measures must be established to resist cyberattacks and to protect digital data, such as data stored in a database and data during transmission, from destructive forces and from the unwanted actions of unauthorized users, such as a cyberattack or a data breach attack. An electronic authentication mechanism must be established to work in conjunction with an electronic signature. These mechanisms should provide the evidence whether a document or data are sent, performed or certified by the authorized users.

Expected Answers
  • Yes - Electronic Port has the capability to endure data/document security. The system does have strong measures to resist cyberattacks and to protect digital data, such as data stored in a database and data during transmission, from destructive forces and from the unwanted actions of unauthorized users, such as a cyberattack or a data breach attack.
  • No - Electronic Port does not have good measures to resist cyberattacks or to protect digital data, such as data stored in a database or under transmission, from destructive forces and from the unwanted actions of unauthorized users, such as a cyberattack or a data breach attack.
Good Practices

Encryption is a technology which protects information by converting it into unreadable code that cannot be deciphered easily by unauthorized people. For example, disk encryption uses disk encryption software or hardware to encrypt every bit of data that goes on a disk or disk volume. It is used to prevent unauthorized access to data storage.

Both software and hardware-based mechanisms are normally used to protect data. Software-based security solutions encrypt the data to protect it from theft. Hardware-based security solutions prevent read and write access to data, hence offering very strong protection against tampering and unauthorized access.

Data backups are used to ensure data which is lost can be recovered from another source. It is considered essential to keep a backup of any data or any files.

References and Case Studies

A2.1.2.5 What is the percentage of trade covered under these systems?

Background

The information about the percentage of trade covered under Electronic Port could provide some insight about its coverage and usage adoption, e.g. how many percentages of ports within the country have established and used Electronic Port, or how many percentages of port-related procedures are covered with electronic services under the current Electronic Port, or how many percentages are still using paper-based procedures.

Expected Answers
  • High (70-100%) - The percentage of traders covered under Electronic Port is high. About 70-100% of trade users, e.g. traders, customs brokers, and freight forwarders) have used Electronic Port, or the system covers or is used in most major ports.
  • Medium (20-69%) - The percentage of traders covered under Electronic Port is medium. About 20-60% of trade users, e.g. traders, customs brokers, and freight forwarders) have used Electronic Port, or the system covers or is used in most major ports, and few ports still use paper-based processes.
  • Low or None (0-19%) - The percentage of traders covered under Electronic Port is low or none. About 0-19% of trade users, e.g. traders, customs brokers, and freight forwarders) have used Electronic Port, or most ports still use paper-based processes, or only some steps are operated electronically.
Good Practices

A feasibility study and data collection are recommended. Even better, it should be conducted to not only capture the above information and insight, but also to provide recommendations and feasibility for establishing or further extending the coverage of Electronic Port.

A more comprehensive feasibility study should be conducted to understand the current situations of port procedures and documentation requirements, pain points and bottlenecks, and propose possible scenarios for improvement with Electronic Port, resources required (financial, human, technical, etc.), potential benefits and risks, a time frame, and an implementation and management strategy.

References and Case Studies

A2.1.2.6 Are community partners/stakeholders connected to it electronically?

Background

Most or all of community partners/stakeholders especially traders and transport/logistics service providers, i.e. customs brokers, freight forwarders, transporters, terminal operators and carriers, should be aware, encouraged to connect to, and utilize Electronic Port to gain the full benefits of the system.

Expected Answers
  • Yes - Most or all of community partners/stakeholders especially those transport and logistics service providers, i.e. customs brokers, freight forwarders, transporters, terminal operators and carriers, are connected to e-Port electronically.

  • Partially Yes - Some but not all community partners/stakeholders who provide transport and logistics services, i.e. i.e. customs brokers, freight forwarders, transporters, terminal operators and carriers, are connected to e-Port.

  • No - Community partners/stakeholders who provide transport and logistics services, i.e. customs brokers, freight forwarders, transporters, terminal operators and carriers, are not connected to e-Port.

Good Practices

Business community partners/stakeholders should understand and recognize the benefits of Electronic Port, and they should be trained and equipped with the capability to connect and utilize this Electronic Port effectively. Awareness events, conferences and training programmes shall be regularly conducted, especially when there are any new or additional Electronic Port services.

References and Case Studies

 

A2.1.3 Has your country implemented Electronic license, electronic permit and, electronic certificate?

(Please fill out the appendix for this question.)

 

 

A2.1.4 Has your country implemented Systems of cross-border trade other than above specified?

A2.1.4.1 Does it have the ability to receive, process and issue documents electronically?

Background

With different context and needs, some countries may establish electronic systems for cross-border trade other than above specified (other than e-Customs, e-Port, e-Licenses, e-Certificates and e-Permits). These electronic systems may have some specific abilities to electronically receive, process and issue documents/data to support cross-border trade.

The systems may provide some fundamental and enhanced electronic services on top of other systems, e.g. national digital identity management services for trade, or electronic services for cross-border trade finance.

Expected Answers
  • Yes - There are systems of cross-border trade other than above established and used, i.e. other than e-Customs, e-Port, e-Licenses, e-Certificates and e-Permits. The systems have the capability to electronically receive, process and issue documents/data related to cross-border trade in a paperless environment integrating full workflow automation in a secure manner and with electronic payments. The systems may also provide related supported services, e.g. a national digital identity management system for trade, cross-border identity management, or cross-border trade finance.
  • No - There is no system of cross-border trade other than above established and used.
Good Practices

Within the context of each country, there might be some specific pain points and improvement requirements to better facilitate cross-border trade with electronic systems other than e-Customs, e-Port, e-Licenses, e-Certificates and e-Permits.

For example, a national digital identity management system could solve the problems about identification, authentication and electronic signature issues at the national level. This system could help reduce identity risks of individuals as well as business entities in conducting electronic cross-border trade transactions.

Another possibility is to adopt some emerging but appropriate technologies that may have potential to better facilitate international trade, e.g. blockchain solutions for speeding up cross-border payment transactions, or for increasing efficiency and reducing risks of trade finance services, or for goods traceability.

References and Case Studies

A2.1.4.2 Is it integrated with an electronic payment system?

Background

The electronic systems for cross-border trade other than e-Customs, e-Port, e-Licenses, e-Certificates, and e-Permits, as discussed above should be integrated with an electronic payment system if there are any needs for payment transactions. The integration with an electronic payment system of commercial banks or financial institutes could facilitate payments of related services, e.g. via e-Banking, or electronic funds transfer.

Expected Answers
  • Yes - If there exists an electronic system(s) for cross-border trade other than e-Customs, e-Port, e-Licenses, e-Certificates, and e-Permits, it is integrated with an electronic payment system. This integration facilitates payments of related services, if any, to be conducted electronically, e.g. via e-Banking, or electronic funds transfer. The payment from these electronic systems to the users is also integrated using this e-payment service.
  • No - The electronic system(s) mentioned is not integrated with any electronic payment system such that payments of related services, if any, must be conducted manually.
Good Practices

The agent in charge of this electronic system implementation should cooperate with commercial banks or financial institutes to develop online solutions for payment purposes. It is essential to consider the business arrangement such that the payment charges are reasonable and do not present an unnecessary burden to the users. The interconnectivity of the electronic systems and the online banking or payment system must be implemented to support such electronic payment transactions. It is expected that the facility of e-Payment is integrated with majority of the banks across the country who offer such services so that enough of competition and options are made available to trade and industry.

References and Case Studies

A2.1.4.3 Does it have the capability to authenticate users electronically?

Background

The system should have the capability to authenticate users electronically. The digital authentication system and associated processes should be established such that the user's identity and work can be confirmed or certified.

Expected Answers
  • Yes - The system has the capability to authenticate users electronically. The digital authentication system and associated processes are established such that the user's identity and work can be confirmed or certified. When used in conjunction with an electronic signature, it can provide evidence of whether a document or data are submitted or certified by the corresponding user.
  • No - The system does not have the capability to authenticate users electronically.
Good Practices

The electronic system should be developed with the capability of electronic authentication services along with associated process to establish confidence in user identities electronically. Electronic authentication must work along with the authentication process to confirm or certify a person's identity and works. When used in conjunction with an electronic signature, it provides evidence of whether data received has been tampered with after being signed by its original sender. This digital authentication shall verify that a person is who they say they are when performing transactions online.

There are several e-authentication methods that can be used to authenticate a user's identity ranging from a password to higher levels of security that utilize multi-factor authentication. If the electronic systems require a high level of security, the user may need to prove his or her identity through the use of security tokens, challenge questions or being in possession of a certificate from a third-party certificate authority that attests to their identity. For example, the Public-Key Infrastructure (PKI) or other highly-secure technology may be used.

References and Case Studies

A2.1.4.4 Does it ensure data/document security?

Background

To ensure data/document security, the system should have the capability to resist cyberattacks and to protect digital data, such as data stored in a database and data under transmission, from destructive forces and from the unwanted actions of unauthorized users, such as a cyberattack or a data breach. A digital authentication mechanism for authorized users must be established also. The digital authentication must work in conjunction with electronic signatures to provide evidence of whether a document or data are submitted or certified by the corresponding and authorized users.

Expected Answers
  • Yes - The system could ensure data and document security. It has a capability to resist cyberattacks and to protect digital data, such as data stored in a database, from destructive forces and from the unwanted actions of unauthorized users, such as a cyberattack or a data breach.
  • No - The system does not have a capability to protect digital data, such as data stored in a database, from destructive forces and from the unwanted actions of unauthorized users, such as a cyberattack or a data breach.
Good Practices

Disk encryption is a technology which protects information by converting it into unreadable code that cannot be deciphered easily by unauthorized people. Disk encryption uses disk encryption software or hardware to encrypt every bit of data that goes on a disk or disk volume. It is used to prevent unauthorized access to data storage.

Both software and hardware-based mechanisms are normally adopted to protect data. Software-based security solutions encrypt the data to protect it from theft. However, a malicious program or a hacker could corrupt the data in order to make it unrecoverable, making the system unusable. Hardware-based security solutions prevent read and write access to data, hence offering very strong protection against tampering and unauthorized access.

Data backups are used to ensure data which is lost can be recovered from another source. It is considered essential to keep a backup of any data or any files.

References and Case Studies

A2.1.4.5 What is the percentage of trade covered under this system?

Background

Information about the coverage of the electronic system mentioned above should provide some insight about the usage adoption by traders or potential users. At least, the percentage of traders currently using this system should be monitored and analyzed such that necessary measures, e.g. better awareness and training programmes, could be conducted for potential traders/users to adopt and benefit from the system.

Expected Answers
  • High (70-100% of traders using the electronic system)
  • Medium (20-69% of traders using the system)
  • Low or None (0-19% of traders using the system)
Good Practices

Business community partners/stakeholders should understand and recognize the benefits of the electronic system established. They could be trained and equipped with the capability to connect and utilize this system effectively. Awareness events, conferences and training programmes should be regularly conducted, especially when there are any new or additional features and services.

References and Case Studies

 

A2.1.5 What is your country's targeted timeline to cover all trade transactions through these systems?

Background

If the country has not established electronic systems to cover all trade transactions, i.e. e-Customs, e-Port, e-Certificates, e-Licenses, e-Permits, etc., the relevant authority should consider to develop a future plan and a targeted time to implement such electronic systems to better facilitate and more effectively regulate trade transactions.

Good Practices

There are several guidelines and practices for policy managers, policymakers and those who are tasked to plan and manage e-Customs, e-Port, e-Certificates, e-Licenses or e-Permits development projects. Several issues that must be considered include analysis and design of trade processes, data/document harmonization and modelling, different technological and organizational models of electronic single window, legal issues, capacity building, implementation plan, timeline, and necessary resources.

References and Case Studies

 

A2.2 Has a single window system been implemented in your country to expedite cargo movement/clearance and to facilitate the international trade supply chain?

Background

A single window system is an electronic facility that allows parties involved in a trade transaction to electronically lodge data and documents with a single-entry point to fulfil all import, export and transit-related regulatory requirements. In many countries, the single window systems have been implemented and used to expedite cargo movement/clearance and to facilitate international trade supply chain. This digital trade facilitation facility helps reducing the regulatory burden for traders when completing import, export and transit-related procedures.

This single window system normally provides electronic services and the connectivity with e-Customs of the Customs Authority, and with e-Licenses, e-Certificates, and e-Permits of relevant government agencies.

Expected Answers
  • Yes - A single window system has been implemented and used in the country to expedite cargo movement/clearance and to facilitate international trade supply chain.
  • Partially Yes - A single window system is partially implemented, e.g. e-Customs Single Window may exist but not connect with e-Licenses/e-Certificate/e-Permit/etc. systems of other regulatory agencies.
  • No - No single window system has been implemented and used in the country.
Good Practices

The most commonly accepted definition of a single window (SW) is the one provided by UN/CEFACT Recommendation No. 33. It describes the SW as a facility that allows parties involved in trade and transport to lodge standardized information and documents with a single-entry point to fulfill all import, export, and transit-related regulatory requirements. If information is electronic, then individual data elements should only be submitted once”.

A single window is such an important trade facilitation tool as the World Trade Organization (WTO) Trade Facilitation Agreement encourages all its WTO members to set up a single window (Article 10.4).

A single window system, if implemented effectively, can achieve the following benefits.

  • For the government as a whole: increase in government revenue, enhanced compliance with rules, improved efficiency in resource allocation, better trade statistics,
  • For economic operators, such as traders: faster clearance times, a more transparent and predictable process and less bureaucracy,
  • For an administration such as Customs: improved staff productivity through the upgraded infrastructure, increase in customs revenue, a more structured and controlled working environment, and enhanced professionalism,
  • For the national economy as a whole: improved transparency and governance and reduced corruption, due to fewer opportunities for physical interaction.
References and Case Studies

A2.2.1 (If A2.2 is yes) How does it receive data electronically, i.e., what kind of user interface and communication channel is used (Internet-based network or dedicated/secured private network)?

Background

If a single window system has been established in the country, it is necessary to assess how does it receive data electronically, and what kind of user interfaces it provides. This is to understand, analyze and recommend possible further improvement, if any.

Expected Answers

More than one choice below can be selected.

  • Web-based front-end browsers
  • A specific software application/client-server software
  • Through the Internet-based network,
  • Through a dedicated/secured private network
  • Application Programming Interface (API)
  • Push/Pull Methods
  • Or other channels
Good Practices

Users of the electronic single window system should be able to send and receive electronic data, and access to single window’s services through web-based front-end browsers, or specific software applications.

Connectivity to users could be provided through any internet-based networks, e.g. provided by the telecom operators within the country. However, the interconnectivity of electronic systems to systems could better be established through a dedicated and secure private network.

References and Case Studies

A2.2.2 (If A2.2 is yes) Does it support a paperless environment?

Background

If the single window system has been established, it should be evaluated whether the system could support a paperless environment or not, i.e. could the system facilitate documents/data submission with electronic authentication and documents/data security integrating instruments like electronic signature without any additional paper-based document submission.

Expected Answers
  • Yes - The single window system does support a paperless environment. The system allows documents and data to be submitted electronically without any additional paper-based document submission. The users’ identities and work can be ensured with electronic authentication and electronic signature.
  • No - It does not support a paperless environment. This means paper-based documents and manually operations are still needed for submission, validation, approval and processing.
Good Practices

If the current single window system established and used so far has not supported the paperless trade environment yet, it is recommended that the system should be improved to facilitate electronic authentication and electronic signature. Identification of users must be authenticated, and their transactions and data submission must be certified by users to ensure paperless transactions without any additional paper-based document transactions.

Electronic authentication methods must be deployed for authenticating a user's identity ranging from a password to higher levels of security that utilize multi-factor authentication. If the electronic systems require a high level of security, the user may need to prove his or her identity through the use of security tokens, challenge questions or being in possession of a certificate from a third-party certificate authority that attests to their identity. For example, the Public-Key Infrastructure (PKI) or other highly-secure technology may be used.

References and Case Studies

A2.2.3 (If A2.2 is yes) How many agencies are connected to the Single Window?

Background

There are several government agencies responsible for regulating different types of procedures and control related to international trade, e.g. several agencies responsible for issuing import/export-related certificates, licenses and permits. It is necessary to assess how many agencies of those total are already connected electronically to the single window system.

Good Practices

It is recommended that all government authorities responsible for issuing import/export-related certificates, licenses and permits should connect electronically to the single window system. If those agencies have established their own internal electronic systems, those systems should be interconnected or integrated with the centralized single window subsystem in order to streamline trade transactions electronically.

References

A2.2.4 (If A2.2 is yes) Who operates this system?

Background

The single window system is a comprehensive national system comprising of several subsystems and involving many government and private stakeholders. Normally, there is a centralized electronic subsystem that facilitates as the interconnectivity hub or provides integration facilities with electronic systems of other authorities and business stakeholders. Since electronic traffics of confidential information are running through this interconnectivity/integration hub, it is necessary to have a right and legitimate organization to operate and provide services of this centralized facility.

Good Practices

The operator or the organization who operates the interconnectivity or integration single window hub and related services should be designated or mandated by the top management of the country, or by laws. The sustainability of this system and by this organization is crucial in the long run. The right organizational and financial model of this system, as well as the institutionalization by laws, therefore are very important. It is also important to ensure that the operator so selected should be a neutral organization preferably other than any stakeholder but enjoys the confidence of all stakeholders.

References and Case Studies

A2.2.5 (If A2.2 is no) What is your country’s future plan and the targeted timeline to implement electronic transactions?

Background

If a single window system has not been established yet, the country as led by a relevant authority may need to develop a future plan and a targeted time to implement such a single window system for electronic trade transactions.

Good Practices

There are several guidelines and practices for policy managers, policymakers and those who are tasked to plan and manage the single window development projects. Several issues that must be considered include analysis and design of trade processes, data/document harmonization and modelling, different technological and organizational models of electronic single window, legal issues, capacity building, implementation plan, timeline, and necessary resources.

References and Case Studies

 

Glossary
  1. Paperless trade refers to the digitization of these information flows, including making available and enabling the exchange of trade-related data and documents electronically. Less formally, one can think of this as cross-border trade transactions using electronic data in lieu of paper-based documents. More...

  2. “An electronic document” is any electronic media content (other than computer programs or system files) that are intended to be used in either an electronic form or as printed output. More...

  3. Electronic Customs System (e-Customs)” is an automated Customs administration system with several electronic supporting functions to efficiently facilitate and effectively regulate Customs-related procedures.

    More specifically, key functions of the e-Customs system include: electronic lodgement of Customs declarations using online connections, the use of risk management software application to reduce Customs clearance times and less physical examination of shipments, the automated calculation and e-payment to facilitate collection of duties and taxes, and services to ensure the uniform application of laws and regulations. More...

  4. “An Electronic Payment System (e-Payment)” is a system that facilitates the acceptance of electronic payment for online transactions. More...

  5. An Electronic Port System (e-Port), or a Port Community System (PCS)” is a neutral and open electronic platform enabling intelligent and secure exchange of information between public and private stakeholders in order to improve the competitive position of the sea and air ports’ communities.

    ePort optimises, manages and automates port and logistics processes through a single submission of data and connecting transport and logistics chains.

    e-Port handles electronic communication in ports between the private transport operators (shipping lines, agents, freight forwarders, stevedores, terminals, depots), the private hinterland (pre- and on-carriage by road, rail and inland waterways), the importers and exporters, the port authorities, Customs and other authorities. More...

  6. An Electronic License System (e-Licenses)” is a government department’s software application for issuing import or export related licenses. Some of its key features and automation include electronic lodgment of applications, validation of submitted data, approval and licenses issuing services. More...

  7. An Electronic Permit System (e-Permits)” is a system that improves and automates all business processes related to import/export permit issuance, exchange, control and reporting. More...

  8. “An Electronic Certificate System (e-Certificates)” for exports is a government department’s software application for issuing export certificates, e.g. certificate of origin (CO), phytosanitary and sanitary of certificates. Some of its key features and automation include electronic lodgment of applications, validation of submitted data, approval and certificate issuing services.

    Some certain certificates need physical or laboratory testing processes prior to issuing the certificates. The e-Certificate System could electronic services to support the physical coordination and laboratory testing reports in conjunctions with other certificate issuing functions. More...

    “An Electronic Certificate System (e-Certificates)” for imports is an electronic system that enables an authority in the country of import to receive overseas government certificates in a digital format. This includes, for example, phytosanitary and sanitary certificates for food and agricultural imports. More...

  9. International supply chain” refers to the processes, parties and documents exchanged in the conduct of international trade. More...

  10. Single window” means a facility that allows parties involved in a trade transaction to electronically lodge data and documents with a single-entry point to fulfil all import, export and transit-related regulatory requirements. UNECE Recommendation and Guidelines on establishing a Single Window