Economy


Single-window trade system seen integrated with ASEAN by Dec.




Posted on June 19, 2017


THE government’s trade facilitation customs system, the National Single Window (NSW), is expected to be linked with the rest of Southeast Asia by December.

TradeNet is a platform for the Bureau of Customs that will be able to connect Philippines’ single window of trade-related agencies with its ASEAN counterpart as it rationalizes and harmonizes all trade data.
According to Finance Undersecretary Gil S. Beltran, the department is currently pilot-testing the system, known as TradeNet, internally, prior to going live with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Single Window.

“We are pilot testing [in]. When it is okay, we will go into production by September. They call it now as TradeNet. It is a platform for the BoC (Bureau of Customs),” Mr. Beltran told reporters late last week in his office at the Department of Finance (DoF) headquarters in Manila.

“Production, then we will connect it on the ASEAN Single Window (ASW) by December,” he added.

He said that the Internet-based system will need to undergo cyber security and stress tests before the roll-out.

TradeNet -- the second phase of the NSW spearheaded by the Department of Information and Communications Technology and the DoF -- will be able to connect Philippines’ single window of trade-related agencies with its ASEAN counterpart as it rationalizes and harmonizes all trade data.

The Philippines implemented the first phase of its National Single Window in 2010, to comply with the agreement inked with the regional bloc in preparation for the ASW back in 2005. Phase one only included the interconnection of networks with government agencies.

The ASW is intended to expedite the cargo clearance process, reduce the cost and time of doing business, and enhance trade efficiency and competitiveness within the region.

In 2015, the country committed to join the ASW by the second quarter of 2016; but the BoC cancelled the initial bidding process that year, claiming there were other data systems that are more cost-effective.

Of the 10 ASEAN member states, only Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand have successfully implemented the ASW.

Moreover, Mr. Beltran said that 66 agencies and 10 economic zones will be integrated into the system, including the Food and Drug Administration, Bureau of Product Standards, and Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, among others.

So far, there are 14 government agencies that have signed on with the system, including attached regulatory bodies of the Department of Agriculture and the DoF.

Mr. Beltran said that the issuance of permits for importers and exporters under TradeNet will take only about three days, from the current month-long processing period.

“As of now it is three days, from months... The goal is to work within those three days,” he added.

Moving forward, the DoF official said that the system will further reduce the time it takes to process the permits.

“We will keep on reducing those three days, to two days, until it takes only one hour. That is the objective,” he said. -- Elijah Joseph C. Tubayan