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National Single Window

What is a national single window?

A National Single Window is a customs portal where traders can submit all documents relating to trade and can access all relevant information regarding trade via a single electronic gateway. The portal connects the Customs Authority with all government agencies that deal with the movement of people or goods, including tax, immigration, quarantine, health, transport, agriculture, fisheries, foreign affairs and the Central Bank.

A National Single Window system is a fairly new and innovative approach to border processing and clearance. More countries around the world are adopting a National Single Window system as it has been proven to greatly facilitate trade.

How does a national single window help traders?

Traditionally, when traders wish to import or export goods, they have had to submit the same information at numerous times to different government entities. Sometimes these documents have to be submitted electronically, sometimes by paper. This is time consuming, often costly, increases the chance of making mistakes, and makes the process of trading difficult.

A National Single Window system automates and simplifies this by allowing traders to submit all import, export, and transit information required by regulatory agencies via a single electronic gateway. Paper is eliminated and accurate and consistent information is available for traders.

A National Single Window also allows traders to access all relevant trade rules, regulations, procedures, fee schedules and forms from all border management agencies through a single user-friendly website.

Will Timor-Leste have a national single window?

Timor-Leste has started laying the foundation to develop a National Single Window as part of the Governments Fiscal Reform program to establish a modern and professional Customs Authority and improve trade facilitation. The first step has been to upgrade Customs IT systems to ASYCUDA World in order to automate customs processes and create the Customs Single Window.

ASYCUDA World is the integrated management computer system that will modernize customs. Pilot programs have been in process to progressively expand the use of the ASYCUDA World system to shipping companies and brokers to submit their manifests electronically. The pilot phase has also enabled national IT staff to be recruited and trained to use ASYCUDA World. Capacity building will be ongoing on a practical and technical level as the system rolls out to more users in the public and private sector.
The next second step is to have the ports, airports and quarantine utilize the system to process all trade related information and transactions. Customs is also working with the Central Bank and Banks to introduce electronic payments using the Asycuda System. Other users will be progressively included to ensure trade facilitation.

A National Single Window is established when all traders, public and private institutions involved in imports and exports are using the ASYCUDA World system.

What benefits will a national single window bring to TIMOR LESTE?

A National Single Window will benefit Timor-Leste in many ways. It will:

  • provide trade and transport operators with a single submission for trade documents and information to satisfy all import, export and transit regulatory requirements
  • increase co-operation between Customs, other government agencies and border control authorities in order to electronically share documents and establish common procedures for processing and control to facilitate trade
  • increase revenue collection
  • reduce clearance times at land borders, port and airports
  • provide real time external trade statistical information
  • generally, reduce the cost of doing business in Timor-Leste
  • reduce mistakes
  • improve transparency, integrity and help protect Timor-Leste’s borders and domestic revenue

What is the Asean single window?

The ASEAN Single Window is a regional initiative that connects and integrates the National Single Windows of ASEAN member states. The objective is to make trade between ASEAN states easier and to increase economic integration within ASEAN.

The ASEAN Single Window will make sure that ASEAN states can exchange data securely and reliably with each other, but also with all other trading partners that use international standards.

If any one nation wants to trade with any nation in ASEAN, they can go to the ASEAN Single Window to access trading information and to submit electronic documents. A Timor-Leste National Single Window will support Timor-Leste’s bid to join ASEAN.

Looking to the future: implementing a CPLP single window

Located in the ASEAN region and being a member of the CPLP community, Timor-Leste is uniquely positioned to connect a global market of over 2.4 billion people.

How will it do this?

Timor-Leste is currently promoting and working with CPLP member countries to establish a CPLP single window that will integrate trading procedures between CPLP countries with a view to linking CPLP to the ASEAN region. The vision for Timor-Leste long-term is to realize the potential and prosperity as a link between the ASEAN and CPLP markets.

The customs, taxation and commercial reforms that are happening now will also allow Timor Leste in the future to economically integrate with ASEAN member states and the other regional countries that have trading agreements with ASEAN; China, Japan, South Korea, Australia, India, and New Zealand.

Download the National Single Window brochure: Tetum Portuguese English