Latest Stories

Customs gearing up for Asean’s ‘single window’ system


MANILA, Philippines – The Bureau of Customs is preparing for the country’s integration with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations’ “single window” system, which aims to facilitate trade among the 10-member Asean, according to Customs Commissioner Ruffy Biazon.

In a text message to the Philippine Daily Inquirer, Biazon on Sunday disclosed “there are policy and legal gaps that still need to be addressed with solutions coming from executive issuances and legislation.”

“Understandably, those will take some time to achieve,” he pointed out.

But Biazon said he was “optimistic we’ll have (the Asean single window system) in place within the targeted time, which is 2015.”

A single window for the regional bloc is “expected to increase efficiency through time and cost savings for traders in their dealings with government agencies in securing the requiredpermits for moving cargoes across economic borders,” said the BOC.

Aside from Asean, the concept is being pushed by the World Customs Organization (WCO) and groups like the United Nations Center for Trade Facilitation and Electronic Business andthe UN Economic Commission for Europe.

Biazon noted that “right now, Phase 1, or the setting up of a national single window system, is already in place while Phase 2 is being bidded out.”

“Phase 2 includes preparations for the Philippines’ interconnection with the Asean single window,” he said.

According to the BOC head, “the hardware and software components are easy to implement. But what will probably take more effort and time is the legal aspect.”

Aside from the Philippines, Asean also groups Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei Darussalam, Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, and Myanmar (formerly Burma).

On Sept. 18, a BOC team led by Director Kissinger Reyes of the Management Systems Information Technology Group attended an Asean conference on the single window system in Jakarta.

In a report furnished the Philippine Daily Inquirer, Reyes said “the Philippines has committed its active participation in the initiative.”

“This will be achieved by implementing a national single window, the success of which will be measured by the reduction of the time taken by importers and exporters in doing business with government,” he also said.

Reyes explained that under the national single window, the BOC processes applications for permits, licenses and clearances from traders.

The system “allows stakeholders to transact with government agencies through a single Internet-based window.”

“The centralized system provides any agency information at the click of a button. Government agencies and traders are linked via the Internet through PCs or mobile devices. Traders can create their application entries and verify before sending them to the agency,” he explained.

On the other hand, Phase 2 of the national single window “will provide a single source of trade data for analytical purposes. It also calls for a government-wide rationalization, standardization and harmonization of all trade-related data,” said Reyes.

During the Jakarta meeting, Asean delegates “outlined the importance of information sharing on goods in transit by the country of departure to countries of transit and destination.”

“The vision of an Asean single window aims to facilitate a seamless movement of goods through pre-arrival information exchange. This will enable a more effective risk targeting and more efficient control of goods by the Bureau of Customs and other agencies,” said Reyes.

Customs officials from Asean member-states “agreed that clearance of goods could be expedited if Asean member-nations have mutual recognition of the Authorized Economic Operators registered in any member-state. To reduce processing time of customs declaration, a process called G2G Exchange of Preferential Certificate of Origin will be applied through the single window, along with other phytosanitary, health and veterinary certificates,” among others, he added.

Sometime in early September, Asean customs officials agreed to adopt the WCO’s data model as tool to assist the development of customs procedures that would enhance trade.

The WCO data model, which also calls for the implementation of the single window system, is an “optimized data exchange providing global standards for cross-border data requirements for the release and clearance of goods.”

“The procedure also aims to cut costs and time for both the government and trade stakeholders as it allows the reporting of information to all government agencies through the unique way it organizes regulatory information,” according to the BOC.

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: ASEAN , Features , Global Nation , single window system

Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94


  • Pakistan library named ‘bin Laden,’ as memory fades
  • US teacher fired over comment on black president
  • Magnitude-7.5 earthquake shakes Mexican capital
  • Title of new Hillary Clinton book: ‘Hard Choices’
  • Filipinos, Dutch re-enact crucifixion of Christ
  • Sports

  • Nadal ousted by Ferrer in Monte Carlo quarters
  • Pacquiao shorts in Bradley fight sold for P1.7M in LA auction
  • Ryu pitches Dodgers past Giants
  • Alonso sets the pace in Chinese GP practice
  • Heat seek Three-peat but Spurs, Pacers top seeds
  • Lifestyle

  • Levine designs womenswear with help from fiancee
  • Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Nobel laureate, dies at 87
  • Ford Mustang turns 50 atop Empire State Building
  • Pro visual artists, lensmen to judge Pagcor’s photo contest
  • ‘Labahita a la bacalao’
  • Entertainment

  • Myx TV premieres Asian American ‘docu-series’
  • A nutty finale for ‘Scandal,’ TV’s craziest show
  • EXO postpones release of mini album ‘Overdose’
  • ‘X-men’ filmmaker slams ‘fabricated’ sex attack claims
  • Singer Chris Brown’s bodyguard on trial in DC
  • Business

  • US commerce secretary spells out economic facet of ‘pivot to Asia’
  • Italy sells luxury state cars on eBay
  • Asian shares mostly up in quiet trade
  • Dollar up in Asia on US jobs data, Ukraine deal
  • Barbie doll has a problem
  • Technology

  • Nasa’s moon-orbiting robot crashes down
  • Netizens pay respects to Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • Nokia recalls 30,000 chargers for Lumia 2520 tablet
  • Facebook rolls out ‘nearby friends’ feature
  • Netizens seethe over Aquino’s ‘sacrifice’ message
  • Opinion

  • Editorial cartoon, April 17, 2014
  • A humbler Church
  • Deepest darkness
  • ‘Agnihotra’ for Earth’s health
  • It’s the Holy Week, time to think of others
  • Global Nation

  • Las Vegas ‘Pinoy Pride’ fest hails Filipino heritage
  • Marking Jesus’ journey on Good Friday
  • Filipina accomplice arrested for fake bills in Malaysia
  • DoH denies Filipino nurse no longer positive for MERS virus
  • WHO warns vs spread of MERS-Cov, urges vigilance in taking precautions
  • Marketplace