Single Window Assessment Methodology SWAM
Single Window (SW) is a recognized trade facilitation instrument, which more than 120 countries have adopted according to Recommendation No. 33, UN/CEFACT (Word Economic Forum, 2019). A revised version of Recommendation No. 33 has been published in 2020. Notwithstanding the simple definition of an SW, the various interpretations of a SW, in terms of its scope, participants, and purpose, has become a pressing issue when revising Recommendation 33. Some countries faced confusion when the instruments implemented were referred to as an SW when, in fact, they were not. Another aspect that renders the topic relevant is that WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) contains Article 10.4, wherein the countries must make best efforts to implement an SW (WTO, n. d.). Member states to the Agreement must notify the performance of each article. At the same time, the countries that notified this item as satisfied lacked any clear assessment methodology. Therefore, it is necessary to develop additional indicators enabling the state governments to evaluate the level of development of an SW and to answer the question: ‘To what extent does the existing facility meet the requirements of trade facilitation and international practice and international organizations’ recommendations?’.
The project involves developing a standard methodology for assessing the level of development of the Single Window based on indicators systemized from international recommendations and best practices of countries. The project will strengthen the capacity of countries to understand the goals and objectives of the Single Window implementation and reveal the directions for further simplification of trade procedures. Therefore, a logical next step is the development of this proposed “Single Window Assessment Methodology” for international trade in line with relevant Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) of Agenda 2030 with the following objectives: • The scope of the project is international trade facilitation. • The project will contribute to the UN Sustainable Development Agenda 2030, specifically on SDG12, which calls on responsible consumption and production patters, as well as SDG8 on inclusive growth, and SDG17 on rules based international trading system. • Creation of a methodology for assessing the development level of Single Window. The methodology will allow: o Determine the rate/maturity level of development of a Single Window in the country (within the framework outlined in Recommendation 33). o Assess the current level of the Single Window development based on quantitative and qualitative indicators. The presence of clear and common indicators will provide an objective assessment. o Identify the directions of the Single Window development and prepare recommendations for further steps. o Propose a rating system of countries by the development of the Single Window. Get initial data for a benchmark. o Help countries obtain expert support and support from development institutions to further trade facilitation in the country.
The project deliverables are: 1) White paper on "Single Window Assessment Methodology" 2) Case study repository (or equivalent). Analysis of the current SW development level in 3-5 countries using the proposed methodology
1) Final deliverable ready for publication 2) Results of analysis of the current SW development level in 3-5 countries using eventually the proposed methodology published at TFIG or other
Project Team Membership and Required Functional Expertise
Membership is open to UN/CEFACT experts with broad knowledge in the area of: International trade procedures domain area (Single Window Domain). In addition, Heads of Delegations may invite technical experts from their constituency to participate in the work. Experts are expected to contribute to the work based solely on their expertise and to comply with the UN/CEFACT Code of Conduct and Ethics and the policy on Intellectual Property Rights
The geographical focus of the project is global.
• UN/CEFACT Recommendation 33 Single Window • UN/CEFACT Technical Note on Terminology for Single Window and other electronic platforms • UN/CEFACT Core Principles for Managing Risks and Contingencies in the Operation of a Systemically Important Single Window • UN/CEFACT Assessing Level of National Single Window Development in Digital Economy at the UN/CEFACT London Forum
Participants in the project shall provide resources for their own participation. The existence and functioning of the project shall not require any additional resources from the UNECE secretariat. The project will be prepared in between Forums, principally using conference call facilities.
Project Proposal Files