Transport & Logistics Developments

   Trade and Transport Single Windows


The e-Freight Single Window

The e-Freight Next Generation Single Window (NGSW) 18April2011.pdf
e-Freight D3 2 Reference Solutions for Next Generation National Single Wind...

Trade and transport related authorities have established an extensive range of agency-specific and country specific regulatory and operational requirements for international trade and transport with little coordination amongst each other, either at the national, European, or international level. As a result traders and transport operators face complex and duplicative reporting requirements and governments and businesses have to develop and maintain different systems to meet these requirements. 

This problem has become more acute in recent years with the requirements for advanced trade and transport notifications for security purposes, and the competitiveness requirements for interoperability in international supply chains.  
The “Single Window” is designed to overcome inefficiencies in mandatory reporting and regulatory control.
The two development streams of trade facilitation (mainly customs) and transport   related reporting and surveillance (particularly maritime authorities) have been developing independently but are now begin to move in unison.


Trade facilitation

The concept of Single Window was introduced by   United Nations Centre for Trade Facilitation and Electronic Business (UN/CEFACT) to enhance the efficient exchange of information between trade and government.
According to UNECE (Economic Commission for Europe) Single Window is a facility that allows parties involved in trade and transport to lodge standardized information and documents with a single entry point to fulfil all import, export, and transit-related regulatory requirements. If information is electronic then individual data elements should only be submitted once. In practical terms, the Single Window aims to expedite and simplify information flows between trade and government and bring meaningful gains to all parties involved in cross-border trade.

In the context of the European eCustoms and the Modernised Customs Code programme (Initiative coordinated by DG TAXUD), Single  Windows are foreseen to enable economic operators to lodge electronically and once only all information required by customs and non-customs legislation for EU cross-border movements of goods. National Single Window systems  are to be developed in all Member States which should be interoperable between themselves and with EU centrally-managed systems. The single administrative document, SAD, provides the documentary basis for customs declarations in the EU and in Switzerland, Norway and Iceland.
Maritime transport Single Windows
In the maritime transport sector, in parallel to trade related use of Single Windows as described above, the concept of Single Window has been used for some time now initially as Port Single Window to facilitate port state control reporting and more recently as National Single Windows (NSWs) to provide a single national interface for mandatory reporting by ships in European waters. The latter relates to Directive 2009/17/EC, in the framework of the Third Maritime Safety package, modifying Directive 2002/59/EC for establishing a Community vessel traffic monitoring and information system (the "VTM Directive"). One of the main objectives of the amended Directive is to guarantee that all Member States will be interconnected via the Community maritime information exchange system SafeSeaNet (SSN), in order to obtain a complete overview of the movements of ships and dangerous or polluting cargoes in European waters. Development pathways of NSWs differ from country to country but invariably are linked to Port Single Windows which in turn are increasingly linked with Port Community Systems (PCS). Finland is a pioneer in the deployment of national infrastructure implementing the single window concept. The Finnish system PortNet is operational since 1993. The system is operated by the Finnish Maritime Administration (which is the designated NCA for SSN). Since 2000 a XML & web user interface has been implemented while (PortNet 2 has been introduced since 2009. All the Finnish ports are linked to the system. PortNet provides direct input to the SSN without involving any other actors. 40000 port call notices and 70000 cargo notices are received annually. The central role of National Single Windows in the context of the EU Vessel traffic monitoring and information system (VTM Directive) has been investigated by the MarNIS project.Under MarNIS, each member State maintains a National Single Window (acting as the SSN national node ), receiving notifications from ships intending to enter a port in its waters and ensuring the directed distribution of derived messages to the port, other authorities (such as customs, immigration etc.) as well as handling requests for information or clarification. The NSW is the contact point within the total SSN+ structure and ensures that the appropriate information is in the first place made available within the index server and secondly available to requesting authorities from other member States.
The e-Freight Single Window challenge

The main challenge is to establish a concept for Next Generation Single Windows addressing the goals of co-modality facilitating: 

1.      Vehicle and cargo reporting irrespective of transport mode.

2.      Interoperability between national and EU Single Windows and Platforms to support surveillance and co-operation between administrations in security, safety and environmental risk management.

We cannot   expect all EU and international authorities to conform to a single process to work with a Single Window approach. And we cannot expect them to seriously disrupt their current processes and practices to adopt the same processes. Nor we can expect them to seriously overhaul or replace their current IT systems to achieve the same.

Single Window support from the e-Freight Platform needs to be non intrusive and almost transparent in its function. 


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   Glossary Terms


CBM Coordinated Border Management
CBM, also referred to as Integrated Border Management are expressions used with different meanings depending on the organisations using them, e.g. DG HOME, FRONTEX, WCO, etc. the proposed WCO definition is: Coordinated Border Management "This concept entails coordination and cooperation among all the relevant authorities and agencies involved in border security and regulatory requirements that apply to passengers, goods and conveyances that are moved across borders"
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Single Window System
A single window system enables international (cross-border) traders to submit regulatory documents at a single location and/or single entity. Such documents are typically customs declarations, applications for import/export permits, and other supporting documents .
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  Additional Information for Trade and Transport Single Windows
  The International Trade Procedures Working Group (ITPWG-TBG15) is one of the Working Groups of UN/CEFACT
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   Subject News
  07/12/2013 - The World Trade Organization has agreed its first-ever global deal worth $1tn, aimed at boosting commerce
06/08/2012 - UNECE recomendations
05/12/2011 - The e-Freight Next Generation Single Window prototype has been released for deployment and evaluation in Latvia.
03/03/2011 - European Port Community Systems Association to define the role that they can play in the move towards the European ‘Single Window’ concept.
08/02/2011 - Thailand's national single window to lower logistics costs by about Bt100 billion annually.
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   Linked Topics
  Maritime Single Windows
Interaction of international and national legislation

The EU e-Maritime Initiative
   Related Documents
ITAIDE SingleWindowImplementationFramework.pdf
WCO Datra Model 3.1 20101105 Presentaion in Rotterdam ( Satya).pdf
Single-Window e-Logistics Policy Initiatives and Projects in Thailand.pdf
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   Lessons Learned
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   Information Sources
  Economic Operators' Registration and Identification system
NIEM is a set of building blocks that are used as a consistent baseline for creating information exchanges
Using the New Computerised Transit System (NCTS) to move goods across the EU and EFTA countries
HMRC International trade developments
UNECE List of Trade Facilitation Recommendations
European Customs Information Portal
ISO/PAS 28005-2:2009
Logius- Single Window; with a view to the near future
Customs Temporary Storage
GFP - Global Facilitation Partnership for Transportation and Trade
Electronic customs
EMSA - EU Maritime Safety Agency
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