An International Seminar on Trade Facilitation: "The Single Window Concept and Integrated Railway Transportation to Facilitate Trade in the Pan-European Space" took place on June 1, 2011 in Odessa.
The seminar was attended by representatives of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), OSJD, CIT, the EUBAM Mission, the Ukrainian government, the business community, and representatives of Moldova, Lithuania, Russia, Singapore and the Czech Republic.
Participants noted the relevance of the meeting in terms of the growing role of simplification and automation of trade procedures, the strategic position of Ukraine as a transit country and the economic integration of the country into the European space.
The seminar addressed two sets of questions:
(a) issues relating to the facilitation of trade, a key theme - the possibility of introduction of the "single window" in Ukraine (UNECE Recommendation number 33, 34, 35) in the organization of interaction between the trade community and regulatory authorities;
(b) issues relating to trade development and to attraction of new transit flows in the direction of the axes of the international transport corridor "North -South " and "Europe -Asia ", a key theme - the prospects and future plans of increasing of the use of standardized electronic consignment note CIM/SMGS
Emphasized the strategic importance, both for international trade, and for Ukraine, of initiatives such as the "e-customs", container train "Viking".
According to participants, the overall objectives of the project "E-Customs" could contribute, along with the implementation of the pilot project on electronic declaration, the concurrent launch in Ukraine of the pilot project of implementation of the "single window" principle in the organization of interaction between the trading community and the regulatory authorities.
The location binding of "single window" to the route of the train "Viking" would allow benefit obviously from this organizational and technical solutions for the development of transport with the use of a standardized electronic consignment note CIM/SMGS. Creating a "one stop shop" for air traffic routes would provide the necessary impetus for the increased involvement of air transport in the overall network of combined transport.
The combination of national and international software products in training declarants and customs brokers that are appropriate for the purposes of the "single window" would allow receive and develop the necessary skills at an earlier stage.
After the workshop participants endorsed the following recommendations:
(1) In general:
• To inform the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine and the leadership of the relevant departments on the recommendations of the workshop, and in particular, the desirability of preparing and realization of a pilot project of implementation the principle of "single window" in the organization of interaction between the trading community and the regulatory authorities.
• It is appropriate to give to the works on creation of a "single window", data harmonization and organization of electronic documents the status of a national project connected with the project "e-customs" of Ukraine, as well as international and regional projects (such as the "Viking", TRACECA, etc.);
• When taking the relevant decision to consider the use of public-private partnership, under the Law of Ukraine "On public-private partnership";
• Organize regular consultations on trade facilitation measures and the introduction of "one stop shop" with the participation of various state bodies of Ukraine, UNECE and other international organizations working in the field of electronic exchange of trade and transport documents and data, and trade facilitation.
• In the year after the workshop to arrange a meeting with the participation of UNECE, CIT, WCO and other international organizations working in the area of trade facilitation to summarize the progress and determine the next steps in the application of the "single window".
(2 ) In the area of measures of trade procedures simplification (e-business, implementation of the "single window" in the performance of the necessary for the export, import and transit formalities), the implementation of international and European standards:
• By coordinating role and assistance of the State Customs Service of Ukraine to establish a working group on "single window", which will include representatives of the relevant departments and the business community;
• Depending on the choice of the level at which to begin the introduction of single window (national or local), to prepare and approve a "master plan" of "single window", in particular, to address issues of inter-agency cooperation, based on UNECE Recommendation 33, the materials of World Customs Organization (WCO) and other organizations;
• In parallel with the preparation of a pilot project to undertake, at the national and local (for example, in some sea ports (Odessa, Illichevsk) and airports (Boryspil, Odessa) levels, research on the subject:
• Carry out further steps to simplify and harmonize the flow of information, documents and data elements by using the guidelines and standards of the UNECE, WCO and other organizations in the analysis of business processes;
• Continue and expand the work on information interaction of customs services and other competent authorities of Ukraine and Moldova, taking advantage of the concept of "single window".
(3) In the field of further trade facilitation and to support the priority strategy of European integration of trade and transport sectors of Ukraine with the purpose of attracting new trade and transit flows in the direction of the axes of the international transport corridor "North -South" and "Europe -Asia":
• Explore the possibility of integrating the electronic consignment note CIM/SMGS into smooth exchange of data between different sectors, countries and domains;
• Hold a meeting with the participation of UNECE, CIT, WCO and other international organizations working in the field of electronic exchange of trade and transport documents and data and trade facilitation, to discuss the extent to which a set of data in electronic form of railway consignment note CIM/SMGS meets international standards, that can facilitate the smooth exchange of data at the regional and national level.
(4) In the area of improving cooperation between international organizations and national authorities responsible for the preparation of regulations and control of the movement of goods and vehicles in the implementation of international trade:
• To involve international experts to transfer best practices, organizing training and practical assistance in the application of international standards.
(5 ) As a general comment it should be noted that the application of the seminar and discussion of the practice of lighting the narrow range of problematic issues under different, given the composition of the participants, angles, showed obvious advantages of dialogue, structured both on levels of "trade - transport", "trade, transportation - state", "trade, transportation - international organization", "state - international organization", "state - state", "international organization - international organization "