Single  Window is defined as 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


Single Window – Local Solution: Project Concept ("Capital Express" № 1/2013)

Until recently, in the ports of Ukraine the entire workflow and its planning existed within the paper environment. This system of information share is obsolete, and, moreover, extremely dependent on the human factor, as evidenced by numerous publications in the media, ratings and reports from international organizations. The development of information technologies allows us to fundamentally change the current situation and shift to a qualitatively new level of goods handling, in order to increase the volumes and improve the image of our country in the international arena.

The one and only working tool to achieve the goals set is to create a Port Community System (PCS), recognized by international experts.


The main purpose of this System is to minimize paper flows within port operations, cutting the time for each operation, providing correct and legitimate information to all the transport players concerned.

Port Community System integrates all transport players concerned into a single information environment where they can share and access the relevant information which is protected by the national security system. PCS introduction on a local level, with a view to its implementation at the national level of the National Single Window, will bring Ukraine closer to the strategy of international trade and provide information share based on standards developed by the UN and the IMO.


Main concept

The system is a B2B (business to business) and B2G (business to government) solution based on the communication hub, created on the of E&T concept (extraction and transformation).

Port Community System can be defined as a neutral and open electronic system able to perform intelligent and secure exchange of information between public and private traders to increase the competitiveness of port users. It optimizes, manages and automates efficient port and logistics processes through a single data feed and link chains of transport and logistics.

This system is recognized as the most advanced tool for information sharing in a single port or port system structures of one country. It is based on the agreement between the parties to submit trade data in one place, to develop information infrastructure, technical relationships, favorable legal environment, standardization and harmonization of data, and to limit duplication of information in the documents. It creates a narrowly integrated system covering the export, import, transit flows, consolidation, dangerous goods and statistical reports on international maritime transport of goods.

System involves:

— control authorities (customs, border authorities, etc.);

— port authorities;

— stevedores;

— agents;

— freight forwarders;

— Ukrainian Railways;

— others.

In Western Europe, the specified Single Window operates in the ports of Hamburg (Germany), Rotterdam (Netherlands), Antwerp (Belgium), Felixstowe (UK), Le Havre, Marseille (France), Barcelona, Bilbao (Spain), etc. European association, which aims to develop e-logistics in all European ports, improve shipping, freight forwarding and logistics in the European Union, was created on their basis.

Experience of major ports in Europe shows that the electronic data in the Port Community System eliminates the subjective intervention of the human factor in the process of regulation of foreign trade, and thus eliminates the corruption practices. Flawless data exchange within the Port Community System also gives impetus to the development of intermodal and multimodal transport, as the core of system lies in a smooth share of data between sectors, linked into the supply chain, and between different modes of transport.



The PCS project is supervised by an Interagency Working Group, which was established in accordance with the instructions of the Prime Minister. It involves government and business officials. State Customs Service of Ukraine was appointed as managing organization. UN Economic Commission (UNECE) provides expert assistance.

As Odessa Port was technically ready to implement the project, it was selected as a base port. At that time, Port had several relevant developments to introduce PCS.

To save the budget of state and state-owned enterprises, the project was contracted to PLASKE JSC, which became a key project investor. For 14 years already it has been successfully rendering transport and freight forwarding services. PLASKE JSC is the representative of Lithuanian and Bulgarian Railways in Ukraine, operator of VIKING combined train, Cargo Agent of PKP LHS and Bulgarian Sea Fleet.

PLASKE JSC has successfully completed negotiations with the Port of Samsun (Turkey), UPM transportation, Turkey-based shipping company, and Turkish Railways to launch rail-ferry line (Illichivsk-Samsun). PLASKE JSC was also appointed an official freight agent of UPM transportation in Ukraine.

PLASKE JSC was the first company to register an electronic declaration and e-manifest. It has practical experience in pilot projects for communication between UAIS (unified automated information system of SCSU) and NCTS (New Customs Transit System) in a joint project with SCSU, with the support of the Customs Service of Lithuania and ICITAP Program of the U.S. Department of Justice. PLASKE JSC plays a proactive role in the organization of international seminars and conferences on the implementation of the Single Window in Ukraine (CEFACT Recommendation No. 33, 34, 35), as well as in the interaction of traders and regulatory bodies. These activities are carried out with the assistance and support of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (Workshops on trade facilitation: “The concept of a local Single Window (Port Community Systems), Coordinating Council on Transsiberian Transportation (on the application of innovative technologies for multimodal container transport in international traffic with SCI: electronic document; single information resource, the “e-train” project; safety and the risk assessment in transport), ICC Ukraine (Trade facilitation, and measures related to transport and customs control), etc., as evidenced by the publications in the business and trade press.  Together with EC PLASKE JSC initiated pilot carriage of container with the e-GPS-seals (identifying the carrier), monitoring the movement of goods, recording stops and stations along the line and analyzing the movement of goods.

This company participates in considering the issues related to the financing of the project and methodological assistance to the PCS project. To develop the relevant software and to support it, PLASKE JSC created “Planning for Port Logistics Service Center (PPL) 33-35” in the form of LTD, which is now a member of the European Port Community Association (EPCSA). This allows using the existing expertise and best practices of European ports to promote e-logistics, improve efficiency of maritime transport, improving the technology of goods handling and to improve the international trade.

To create the system, we used recommendations, handbooks, guidelines and rules of the Economic Commission for Europe, United Nations Centre for Trade Facilitation and Electronic Business (CEFACT), the United Nations Network of Experts for Paperless Trade in the Asia-Pacific region (UNNExT), United Nations Commission on international Trade Law (UNCITRAL), the World Customs Organization (WCO), the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), etc.

The company recently signed a similar memorandum on cooperation to implement the PCS with the Illichivsk Sea Commercial Port and proceeded with exploring the processes in the enterprise.


Project implementation

1.1. Creating the Process Chain Matrix

One of the first stages of the project was the creation of the Process Chain Matrix (PCM). The process chain means a series of successive stages for registering the vehicle or cargo at the port.

The Matrix displays all handling processes at the port, which allows to identify and monitor the full cycle of a transaction. Creating the PCM more than 500 processing chains for handling vehicles and cargo were found. The PCM is versatile and applicable for any port.

1.2. Selection of Process Chain

After the PCM is created and the process chains for vehicles and goods handling are identified, we determined the most relevant process chain. For Odessa Port, it was the “arrival of laden import containers on the ship - the departure by vehicles.” It became “the first portent” in the construction of PCS.

1.3. Stages of PC and handling

of each stage

This PC was divided into certain stages:

1) advanced information from the agent on the cargo;

2) permission to start handling operations (the so called “free practice”);

3) information from the stevedoring company (SC) of the actual discharge;

4) warehouse operations with container;

5) issuance of the e-manifest;

6) departure of the vehicle with container from the SC area;

7) departure of the vehicle from the port area.

Among the above 7 steps we chose the most difficult and important one for port and its clients, i.e. “electronic manifest”.  It was launched in the test mode on October 8, 2012

Commercial operation was scheduled for 02 January 2013.

As part of each stage the following guidelines were elaborated:

Business process description (current, temporary (for the duration of the pilot run) and permanent (with regard to comments and suggestions set out in the course of the pilot run)):

— Process (flow chart) of cargo and vehicle clearance agreed with the agencies involved, which in detail describes the technology of cargo and vehicles handling (text document);

— Diagrams of parties involved (Annex 2 and 3). The main purpose of the diagrams is to describe the key actions and the “actors.” The diagram defines the scope and terms of reference for a detailed analysis of processes. Each diagram is a detailed study of options to use business process. It describes how each business process is implemented step by step, who is responsible for each action, what document requirements are applied and how the flows of information move. Based on the diagrams, you can make a list of paper and electronic documents and messages covered by the scope of the project on data harmonization. You can also define the name of the party responsible for the issuance of each paper document and electronic document or message;

— Tables for terms and data elements (Annex 4 and 5). The aim is to get clear description of the data requirements. Description and specification of data are compiled using the definitions and terms of business users and experts, such as buyer / seller, customs officer or a freight forwarder. This forms the basis for understanding the semantics of data, the type of data, its presentation, format and restrictions, which is important information for the automation of information flows in future stages. Any ambiguity in the meaning and use of data elements retards the process of harmonization of data elements to the selected semantic rules, and creates inconsistencies in the process of negotiation. After completion of this step for each of the specific documents, the data dictionary is compiled. It contains the detailed description of data elements from the user’s point of view. Data Dictionary for one document can contain the following

— name of document;

— purpose of the document;

— name of document owner;

— identification number for each name of the data element, such as the number of fields in the document;

— the name of each data element according to the way it is presented in the document;

— definition for each data element in the local language and / or English according to the way it was presented by the owner of the document and / or the relevant standard;

— format (letter, numeric, symbol display), and size (length of the data element, the number of digits or characters) for each data element;

— limits for the number of occurrences of each data element;

— list of codes and subsets of the code list.

Data harmonization

This process includes bringing to conformity with international standards and all documents, terms, and data used in the Single Window.

Performance analysis

This analysis allows you to see the resulting effect of each stage, which clearly describes the results achieved and the impact on this stage (financial, time indicators, reduction of red tape, less corruption practices). A similar analysis was carried out after the implementation of the Odessa Port’s “free practice”, i.e. the ability to handle the vessel after mooring, not waiting for the commission on board (Annex 6).

Analysis of the current legislation,

identification of barriers

and project amendments

As the current regulations governing the procedures for workflow, control and clearance of goods and vehicles at ports, as well as provisions to implement electronic document, had no references to the PCS, the first stage required to define the meaning of “port community system” and the establishment of the basic principles of its operation. To this end, draft amendments to the Decree of Cabinet of Ministers as of 21.05.2012, No 451 and Order of the Ministry of Transport of Ukraine from 13.12.2004, No 1098, were

Now, we continue to consider the legal environment for the PCS.

Upon completion of the first stage of testing the selected process chain, defects observed will be eliminated and proposals and harmonized data will be taken into consideration. At the meeting of the Interagency Working Group the finalized version for the Order of the first stage of the selected process chain, the final diagram of players and processes were adopted, the format and structure of documents and data elements were developed and changes in legislation were

Testing of the following steps must be carried out as per the same pattern, with the obligatory harmonization of the temporal order, terms, data elements of the selected stage.

1.4. Summing up the PC

Upon completion of all stages of the process chain, the following should be developed:

—final technological scheme (includes all final orders);

—final chart of participants, processes;

— summary table of terms;

— summary table of the data elements;

— summary performance analysis of the entire process chain;

— summary format and structure for the submission of documents and data elements;

— summary amendments in the legislation.

The implementation of each of the following PC will be based on the same principle.

Upon completion of the project, the following will be created:

— summary table of terms, consisting of a set of term tables;

— summary table of all the data elements of the matrix;

— summary analysis of the effectiveness of the matrix (the processes, financial performance, time performance, changes in legislation, harmonization of data, etc.).

Authority for the preparation of materials should be as follows:

— project development of temporary and permanent orders, regulations, chart of players, processes, tables, terms, tables, data elements, performance analysis, formats and structures to provide documents and data elements - Port Community Systems Association, which shall consist of representatives of the service center, the port, and other users of the

— overall coordination and support of the project, approval of temporary and permanent orders, formats and structures to provide documents and data elements, project approval regulations — Interagency Working Group.

Project safety and security

Implementation of a comprehensive information security system and certification system will be carried out jointly with the State Service of Information Protection (GSTZI) and will be described by the separate set of project documents.

IS should satisfy the GSTZI protection requirements for systems that do not contain state secrets.

Key requirements:

— information security;

— inconvertibility;

— disclaimer;

— unauthorized access protection.

Additional requirements:

— compliance with the Law on Electronic Document;

— support of digital signature of national standard;

— compliance with the Law on Electronic Signature;

— satisfaction of the risk model.


Future prospects

1. Introduction of Single Window concept not only within the ports, but at all border crossings;

2. International cooperation - connection to the national Single Windows of states with set trade relations;

3. The introduction of the Single Window in other areas of public administration and economy of Ukraine.


VORONOY Viacheslav,

Head of Logistics and Commercial Department at Odessa Commercial Sea Port,

Member of IWG,

Coordinator of Expert Groups