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The Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) makes further steps in implementing Single Window with support from UNECE and ESCAP

National Single Windows – which simplify import and export transactions by making it easier to input all regulatory and commercial information at a single electronic point – streamline cross-border data exchange, reducing bureaucracy and making it easier for businesses to engage in international trade transactions.

The Eurasian Economic Commission (EEC) made further steps on 7-8 December in its broad initiative on Single Window implementation in the Eurasian Economic Union – whose members include Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and the Russian Federation – at an international conference on cross-border paperless trade called “Single Window in the Context of the New Technological Wave”. UNESCAP, through a Russian-funded project, and UNECE assisted the organization of this conference, hosted by the Moscow State University Lomonosov.

The conference built on the results of the UNECE project in 2009-2015, in support of the Single Window in the EEU countries, showing that the Single Window needs a long-term commitment and dedicated work. Mr Sergey Glaziev, former head of the Commission of the Customs Union, with whom UNECE started work on the Single Window in the region, noted that already a third generation of policy makers were advancing the work, despite all odds, demonstrating the sustainability of the idea. Each country of the region presented their state of Single Window development. Mr Leonid Lozbenko, Chairman of the Public Council of the Russian Federal Customs Service, highly estimated the continued support of UNECE.

The EEC put digitalization of the economy at the centre of the conference and linked it to the next steps in Single Window implementation. Discussions involving participants from the EEU member States and their trading partner countries in the region, EEC, UNECE, UNESCAP, WCO, WTO, as well as presentations from UN/CEFACT, Republic of Korea, Indonesia, the African Alliance for e-Commerce, various private stakeholders in the EEU, and others, stressed this the importance of Single Window to the digitalization agenda.

UNECE experts Lance Thompson and Mario Apostolov noted that the Single Window should be seen as a politico-organizational tool before regarding it as a technical system, and that data harmonization and alignment to international standards, including those of UNECE and UNCEFACT were essential to building Single Window mechanisms in the EEU and ensuring their interoperability. Several projects were agreed with partners along these lines during the conference.