Malawi – expresses interest in Single Window

The Southern African Trade Hub (SATH) presented the National Single Window (NSW) concept as one of the most effective tools in trade facilitation to the Ministry of Trade, Malawi Revenue Authority and other public and private sector organizations in Lilongwe and Blantyre respectively during May 2012. The presentation highlighted the great benefits accruing to countries that have implemented the NSW. A case study of Thailand was discussed, indicating how Thailand was ranking position 108 in the Trading Across Border Index by the World Bank in 2007 and remarkably improved to position 10 in 2009 after implementing their NSW. Malawi is currently ranked at 164 out of the 183 countries assessed.

A single window is a facility that allows parties involved in trade and transport to lodge standardized information and documents through a single entry point to fulfill import, export and transit regulatory requirements. The benefits accruing to the NSW include substantial decrease in clearance time, substantial increase in government revenues, clear identification of roles and responsibilities in the clearance process and accurate, consistent and real time statistics. The presentation also highlighted that while there are different models of implementing the single window, the public-private partnership (PPP) model achieved results in a short period of time and was implemented efficiently due to the technical expertise and efficient processes brought in by the private sector. It was also emphasized that it was critical to have all stakeholders’ buy-in for the successful implementation of the NSW.

The Ministry of Industry and Trade and other stakeholders agreed in principle to establish a NSW using the PPP but a cabinet memo to secure formal approval of NSW will only be prepared after SATH has facilitated a more technical and practical presentation by one of the countries already using this tool. Source: SA Trade Hub

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