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Recommendation 37: Single Submission Portal

Published: November 2019

Streamlining border crossing and helping traders to access international markets can provide significant stimulus to national economies and directly supports the implementation of UN Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 17, specifically on promoting a universal, rules-based, open, non-discriminatory and equitable trading system in target 17.10. One of the key smart connectivity solutions a country can ideally adopt for this is a Single Window for international trade; however, fostering the cooperation between government agencies and replacing legacy systems can make this a challenge. And while plans are developed, and discussions held, traders wait for the trade facilitation which should result. The private sector can often be more reactive and has in many cases already set up their own smart connectivity platforms that act as an interface between traders and government authorities.

In a spirit of promoting the development and diffusion of technologies to all countries, in line with the SDG targets 17.7, 10.2 and 5.b, this recommendation number 37 on “Single Submission Portals” (SSP) describes how such systems function and how governments can capitalize on these initiatives. From Port Community Systems to Customs Clearance Systems, Cargo Community Systems and Freight Forwarder Systems, multiple possibilities likely exist already in national economies and can help to facilitate trade. This can significantly increase access to information and communication technology as outlined in SDG target 9.c. There are even specific eCommerce platforms targeting Micro-Small- and Medium-Sized Enterprises (MSMEs) to access international trading markets. All of these SSPs can offer the declarative information and help streamline border crossing; they can also propose connectivity through information exchange between economic operators creating a seamless use of information along the entire supply chain.

This recommendation is accompanied by a repository of best practices which show that private-sector driven solutions bring added value to the trading community, with between 1’500 and over 10’000 users and between 25 thousand and 36 million transactions per day. The services offered can vary from customs or port declarations to logistics and supply chain messaging.

This Recommendation 37 as a publication (ECE/TRADE/447) is available in English, French and Russian for download.