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


Electronic order broke the age-old tradition of paper communication ("Transport" № 42 (730) October 17, 2012)

“Transport” # 42 (730) dated 17 October 2012


The Electronic Work Order Smashed up the Age-Long Traditions of

Paper Documentation


On 8 October this year the Port of Odessa started the pilot project of electronic work order introduction in the test mode. On the same day the first container was processed in accordance with this technology. This is the first step in creating the Unified Information Port Community (UIPC) under “Single Window – Local Solution” Project implemented in the operations area of Pivdenna Customs and ports of “Big Odessa”.

Shortly before this, on 27 September, held in Kiev was the Meeting of the Interagency Working Group, which examined in detail the issues of the project technology implementation. One of the speakers at the Meeting was Viacheslav Voronoi, Chief of Logistics and Commercial Work Service of the Odessa Port.  

We would remind you that the Interagency Working Group was established a year ago at the request of Nikolai Azarov, Prime Minister, and operates under the auspices of the UN Economic Commission for Europe. It includes the representatives of all ministries and agencies involved in the clearance of goods and transport vehicles at the port, the Ministry of Interior Affairs, Security Service of Ukraine, International Chamber of Commerce, Associations of Carriers, Brokers, etc. The aim of the Working Group is to organize the work at the ports on the Single Window principle in accordance with the Recommendations 33-35 of UN/CEFACT (UN Centre for Trade Facilitation and Electronic Business).

In order to ensure the establishment and operation of UIPC and proceed to implementing the first stage of the Project a series of alterations to the standards documents, legislatives acts, resolutions of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine and industry orders were prepared. Transition to electronic document circulation is a revolution in the system, which have used the paper documents for centuries. It was required to break the foundations that have evolved over centuries and to which all participants in the transport process were used.

In Europe the documents have been bid farewell long ago. All European ports are running the electronic document management system, Single Window. But in each country this system has been implemented in different ways: taking into account the mentality, legislation and established practice of clearance of goods and transportation vehicles.

Why was the Odessa Port chosen for the pilot project?

According to V. Voronoi, Member of the Interagency Working Group, “The Odessa Port was chosen as the base port for the implementation of the “Single Window – Local Solution” Pilot Project. Such decision is connected with the fact that our enterprise is most prepared for the transition to electronic document circulation. Over the past two years the specialists of the Port have advanced in this direction as they have developed and implemented several projects. Among them are free pratique, electronic pass (automatic access control system - AACS) – issuance of multicirculation cards instead of paper passes, electronic planning of the motor transport entering the Port and integration of technical facilities (weighing complexes) in the information system of the Port.”

As V. Voronoi noted, in May this year the Port of Odessa and the State Customs Service of Ukraine signed the process scheme for the implementation of the first stage of the Unified Information Port Community (UIPC) system. Developed were the Interim Instructions governing the procedure of the UIPC system first stage implementation approved by Harbour Master. Upon a preliminary discussion and agreement the project was joined by container terminals operated by the companies HPC-Ukraine and Brooklyn-Kiev Port, several container lines (and the rest are at the stage of connection). In addition, the connection of the shipping agents and freight forwarders who have agreed to participate in the experiment is being prepared. The data processing centre establishment has entered its final stage.

“The first phase of the unified electronic system project,” V. Voronoi explains, “includes the transition of free pratique to the electronic digital signature (EDS), transfer from the paper work order to the electronic one and integration of the Pivdenna Customs into the electronic system of the Port to which previously only border guards were connected. For a while we only took one technological chain - arrival of imported loaded container on board the ship and its removal by motor vehicles. A matrix was prepared for all possible chains at the Port. The results were surprising: we identified over 200 similar chains! Such work has never been done in the country before us. Moreover, this matrix is universal for any port. The ultimate aim of our project is to transfer all the technological chains according to this matrix to the electronic form. It is not going to be an easy task, of course: all the experience gained in our country and abroad should be included. In the first place, we decided to start with the imported container directions as it is the most relevant, time-consuming and problematic process for our customers.”

In brief outline, according to V. Voronoi, technologically this process will look as follows. Prior to the vessel’s arrival the agent puts all the data about the vessel and cargo into the information system and certified the information by means of the electronic digital signature. The information is made ​​available to all regulatory authorities. In the absence of comments the vessel is granted free pratique and proceeds for discharge. The stevedoring companies provide information on the actual discharge of containers to the UIPC electronic system. The forwarder enters the system and on the basis of available data fills in the electronic work order, which then is transferred to linear agents. The linear agent negotiates the container removal from the Port. For its part, the customs officer checks the electronic work order and the documents attached thereto, makes risk analysis and specifies the types of control for this container. The information gets into the stevedoring company and port accounting group. This is the basis for the truck entering the port. In this case the freight forwarder will not need to submit the original documents for obtaining the electronic pass. The accounting group initialize the pass with the system data. The driver gets the pass and enters the port. Thus, the participation of the forwarder before the vehicle enters the territory of the enterprise is minimized as much as possible.

As a result, the Customs Inspector completes the container’s clearance with the use of its department database and gives permission to leave through the system. The automatic access control system checks for the notes of the customs and border services, and the lift gate opens automatically.

From “Point A - Odessa Port, from “Point B - PLASKE JSC...

According to V. Voronoi the implementation of the UIPC first stage was made possible through cooperation with the PLASKE Company, which is the general partner of the Port of Odessa for the implementation of this project.

As a European-oriented Company PLASKE has always implemented interesting innovative projects. PLASKE JSC has practical experience of working with the pilot projects on interoperability of UAIS (Unified Automated Information System of SCSU) and NCTS (New Customs Transit System) within the framework of a joint project of the State Customs Service of Ukraine with the support of the Customs Service of Lithuania and ICITAP program of US Department of Justice .

On the Recommendation of UN CEFACT, PLASKE organizes seminars and conferences on the Single Window implementation in Ukraine, interacts with the participants of trade operations and regulatory authorities. With the assistance and support of the UN Economic Commission for Europe the Company holds seminars on trade facilitation (“The Concept of the Local Single Window”, on the information service systems), of the Coordinating Council for Trans Siberian Transportation (on the application of innovative technologies for multimodal container transport in the international traffic with the use of SCI: electronic document circulation; a unified information resource; “electronic train” project; and provision of security and determination of risks in cargo transportation). The Company in conjunction with the Ukrainian National Committee of the International Chamber of Commerce organizes seminars on trade facilitation; on measures related to customs control on transport, etc. With the participation of EU the Company initiated in Ukraine a pilot transportation of the container with electronic GPS-seal allowing monitoring the movement of the cargo

PLASKE is a member of the European Association of the Unified Information Community Systems. With such international support the Company began implementing this system in our country. The port of Odessa was invited as a partner. And it was a judgement selection: the spirit of innovation is also inherent in the Port; its Administration, in parallel, has initiated amendments to standard acts in order to simplify customs procedures. For several years the Port and PLASKE have worked in conjunction on several projects.


The first forwarder with whom the Port will be testing the Single Window – Local Solution system will naturally be PLASKE. It is planned that testing will take one month. After that the work will be analysed. If any defects are identified, they will be fixed. By that time completed will be the stage of integration in the UIPC system of all container stevedoring companies and lines. Subsequently, the service will be introduced to other forwarders.

The preparatory period for the implementation of the UIPC system first stage took a little more than four months. While such preparatory activities in Europe take at least 2 years. Why has this process been reduced to a minimum at the Port? According to V. Voronoi, it was made possible by PLASKE. Within three months the Company purchased and delivered from the US all equipment serving the UIPC system. Purchased and installed was the server switching equipment and power supply was arranged.

In addition, the software for the system has been developed, contracts of electronic libraries supply have been signed and system software has been licensed.

For its part, the Port of Odessa initiated the drafting of Law of Ukraine “On Peculiarities of Processing and Clearing Containerised Cargoes, Containers and Transportation Vehicles which Transport them”, Resolution of CMU “On Amendments to Resolution of Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine dated 21 May 2012 # 451 ‘Issues of Passing through State Border of Persons, Motor, Water, Railway and Air Transportation Vehicles of Carriers and Goods which are Transported by them'" and Order of the Ministry of Infrastructure of Ukraine “On Amendments to Regulations of Issuance of Cargo Shipping Documents for Carriage by Maritime Transport” and purchased jobs for customs officers.

The fact that the specialists of the Port have also prepared proposals on harmonizing the regulatory and reference information – directories “Cargoes”, “Packaging”, “Countries”, “Points of Destination” – is of no small importance.

In October a website designed for prompt and accessible informing the parties interested in the transportation services of the project advancement. After all, the export and empty containers, railway operations, etc. are on the waiting list.

The implementation of “Single Window – Local Solution”, the first UIPC system stage, is a significant step towards the introduction of the new technologies simplifying control procedures in ports.

Tatiana Ovrutskaya

“Transport” # 42 (730) dated 17 October 2012