Customs & Border Management

Beyond the single window: Paving the way to collaborative border management

IBM´s newest white paper for the Customs Industry is now available:

In the decades since the first single windows opened in Singapore and Sweden, national single window customs implementations focused on simplifying the interactions of traders with government, ultimately achieving a single point and moment of interaction for data submission by traders and for clearance decisions by government. Building on the same skills as those required for single windows, leading customs administrations have enhanced their border clearance operating model with four best practices: streamlined inter-agency workflow, account-based processing, segmented clearance regimes and cross-functional intervention teams. These new best practices provide more effective clearance management and trade facilitation and reduce the cost and time of clearance processing for traders and government. This paper suggests that by combining these four best practices with the traditional single window, a best-practices operational model for collaborative border management can be realized.

In countries where a single window plan is underway, the core capabilities supporting it can be exploited to address collaborative border management back-office functions. For the many countries without a single window strategy, customs can examine the lessons and benefits of these practices and decide what their ambition level is: start with single window for trade facilitation or aim at collaborative best practices that support other government priorities in the area of border management. Success on both paths requires investment in the same ICT capability. Enterprise information management is the key technological enabler supporting all the seven best practices described in this paper. Information management competency provides methodologies, techniques and technologies that address data architecture, extraction, transformation, movement, storage, integration and governance of enterprise information and master data management. A robust data foundation makes it possible to capture, combine and use information from many sources, and disseminate it so that individuals throughout the organization, at virtually every level, have access to it.

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