Electronic Single Window
The Bahamas Customs Department is in the process of implementing an Electronic Single Window (ESW) – the prime tool through which the department will reform and modernize its operations. The ESW is a secure business portal that simplifies international trade and business processes by providing around-the-clock access to relevant government services. The platform will substantially reduce time and costs of trade and business transactions for private sector users while gathering and sharing relevant information among government agencies to simplify processes and optimize revenue collection.
ESW developed with IDB assistance
The ESW will facilitate the paperless processing of data and the Customs Department envisages that the project promotes collaborative activities with other governmental agencies. The ESW is a major plank in The Bahamas’ Trade Sector Support Program, which is part of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) loan program signed in 2012 to modernize customs enforcement in The Bahamas.
Benefits of the ESW
- further reduction in clearance time of imported goods and declarations;
- reduction of the administrative cost of collecting revenue;
- Improved electronic reception of advance and total cargo manifests;
- facilitate ‘One-time Submission’ of documents and online payments;
- facilitate information interchange with local Port Community Systems;
- Real Time Data harmonization, Information, Statistics and Reports;
- risk management approach to Border Management and Interventions; and
- Interoperability to International and Regional Systems.
More than 70 countries around the world have implemented single-window systems, and multiple studies show that countries experience substantial cost and time savings and enhanced transparency and interagency collaboration. Trinidad and Tobago, Mexico, Colombia, Costa Rica, Chile and Peru are among the countries in the Region that already have experienced significant improvements thanks to their single window programs.
The ESW is scheduled for a full launch on January 2019 and a soft launch on September 2018.