What is PSW?
PSW (Pakistan Single Window) is an ICT-based system in Pakistan providing a single window for trade. PSW is a facility that allows parties involved in trade and transport to lodge standardized information and documents at a single-entry point to fulfill all import, export, and transit-related regulatory requirements. If information is electronic, then individual data elements need to be submitted only once.
PSW will connect relevant government departments with each other and with economic operators like importers, exporters, customs agents, shipping agents, transporters etc, in Pakistan for efficient management of cross border trade. It will provide the ease and transparency in achieving compliance with relevant regulatory requirements, through an on-line facility, that will intelligently handle the information for each transaction without the need to provide same information more than once or to physically visit such government departments.
Pakistan has committed to implement various provisions of World Trade Organization’s (WTO) Trade Facilitation Agreement that includes implementation of a National Single Window (NSW) system before February, 2022. Pakistan also needs PSW implementation to overhaul management of its external trade for reducing time, cost and complexity involved to improve its position in various global rankings on competitiveness and ease of doing business.
Guiding vision and mission objectives:
VISION: Pakistan will establish a world-class automated hub by 2022, offering services and creating efficiencies, to reduce cross border trade related costs, time and complications for improved trade facilitation and compliance.
MISSION: Improve cross-border trader processing by providing centralised ICT based services, simplified processes, effective and reliable automation, harmonised data exchange and risk-based selectivity in enforcement of government’s regulations.
Who is implementing PSW?
The Government, in October, 2017, designated Pakistan Customs as the lead agency for implementation of PSW before February, 2022. A Steering Committee chaired by the then Federal Minister for Finance, Revenue and Economic Affairs and comprising of Federal Secretaries of all key ministries as well as President of FPCCI was formed in May, 2018 to provide strategic direction and to ensure inter-agency co-operation. The FBR, under its Customs Wing, has established a Project Management Office (PMO) to lead, manage and co-ordinate the development process. Six Working Groups comprising of the relevant public and private sector stakeholders nominees have been notified by FBR to ensure boarder collaboration and technical input in the development of key components of PSW.
Key Features of PSW
- Integrated Declaration– In PSW, the information required by Customs and OGAs will be electronically submitted through an Integrated Declaration. As such PSW will eliminate the current practice of filing and pursuing separate applications to Customs and Other Government Departments (OGAs) for complying with various laws and regulations related to imports, exports and transit trade.
- Automated Routing: PSW will identify and automatically exchange information for goods that require Licenses, Permits, Certificates and Other documents (LPCOs) from any Government Agency. This will improve regulatory controls in transparent manner removing the need for repeated submission of same information.
- Connected Government & Paperless Processing: The back-end processes of majority of OGAs related to cross border trade will be re-engineered and automated to ensure paperless on-line processing leading to a connected government. This will enable document tracking within the system. The structured information captured through PSW will improve government controls besides reducing cost, time and complexity for economic operators to achieve regulatory compliance.
- Risk Assessment: PSW will incorporate risk based selectivity criterion not only for Customs but also for other key OGAs to ensure that consignments are selected for examination and testing based on the principle of risk management in order to improve controls and facilitate genuine trade. Moreover, a system for coordinated joints examinations/inspections by Customs and OGAs will be adopted.
- Port Community System: PSW includes development of a port community system that will not only improve efficiency and transparency of the logistics side of cross border trade by providing the much needed integrated platform but will also enable real time cargo tracking facility.
- E-Payments: All fees, charges, levies, duties and taxes related to cross border trade will be paid electronically through PSW’s e-payment system without the need to visit banks, OGAs and ports separately for each payment.
- Knowledge Management: PSW will provide the much needed platform for knowledge management in cross border trade. It will act as a robust trade portal in Pakistan backed by an Integrated Tariff Management System and will provide respective business processes for regulatory compliance in respect of majority of products.
- Value added services: PSW will provide value added services to its users in order to enable them in playing out their role in cross border trade more efficiently and effectively. PSW will provide help desks for its users and e-appointment system also.
UNDERSTANDING THE SINGLE WINDOW (SW):
- SW is an international obligation
Article 10.4 of Trade Facilitation Agreement:
- 1 Members shall endeavour to establish or maintain a single window, enabling traders to submit documentation and/or data requirements for importation, exportation, or transit of goods through a single entry point to the participating authorities or agencies
- 4 Members shall, to the extent possible and practicable, use information technology to support the single window
Pakistan has notified WTO that Single Window is a Category C commitment with expected delivery date of 5 years from February 2017, i.e. 2022
2.What is a Single Window?
Single Window means different things in different contexts:
- Logistics Single Window (e.g. transport and port operators) – national or cross-border
- One-stop shop for business registration, etc.
- Single portal to access separate systems
- Cross-border Government-to-Government exchange of information
- Single access point to discharge all regulatory formalities for import and export
- Hybrid Single Window – bridging Logistics and Regulatory (e.g. port, transport, Customs, OGAs)
3.The Regulatory Single Window:
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.
For information submitted electronically, individual data elements should only be submitted once.
(UN CEFACT, Recommendation No. 33, July 2005)