Government is on a mission to modernise its trade processes with the implementation of an Electronic Single Window (ESW) in January 2017.
This disclosure has come from Project Coordinator of the Barbados Competitiveness Programme, Terry Bascombe, who said the ESW would provide a single interface for the exchange of trade-related documents between the trading community and government agencies.
???Through the ESW, the trading community will be able to electronically determine, apply for, and obtain approval of the required licences, permits, certificates and other documents required to import or export in Barbados.
???Therefore, the ESW will make trade-related business transactions with Government easier and more efficient. Businesses will also be able to research HS Codes and duty rates for commodities, as well as check on the status of their application,??? Mr. Bascombe explained.
According to him, developing an ESW would be a strategic initiative for Barbados, as it would constitute a critical part of the country???s vision to be a regional logistics hub.
???To achieve this goal, it is not only necessary to have adequate infrastructure, it also requires that processes, technology and people be focused on trade facilitation, especially in terms of workflow efficiency and cost reduction,??? he continued.
The Government of Barbados and the Inter-American Development Bank entered into a loan contract in 2010 to cooperate in the execution of the Barbados Competitiveness Programme, in which the ESW is a major deliverable.
According to Mr. Bascombe, this Programme is designed to improve the island???s competitiveness by addressing the key blockages to the efficient movement of goods in Barbados, and supporting other trade and investment activities to promote export development and increase private investment.
He added that it also supports the development of benchmarks and statistics related to the productivity of the private sector and business climate.
The ESW is being developed by a project team consisting of three leading firms in this field: A-T Solutions, Bixal and 3CE. An ESW Technical Committee consisting of representatives of government agencies involved in trade and the project team has been established to exchange ideas and keep the agencies apprised of the project???s status.
Mr. Bascombe disclosed that the ESW Technical Committee meets regularly and said it would continue to meet throughout the lifecycle of the project. ???Those meetings have proven to be very productive and they support the development of an ESW that will meet the needs of businesses in Barbados,??? he stated.
He said persons interesting in learning more about the Electronic Single Window should visit esw.gov.bb. He pointed out, however, that this website was in an embryonic stage of development and stressed that it would be fully operational by the implementation of the ESW.