National Single Window

Improving efficiency, transparency and interoperability 

A National Single Window is an international trade platform , that according to the UNECE is “ a facility that allows parties involved in trade and transport to lodge standardized information and documents with a single entry point to fulfill all import, export, and transit-related regulatory requirements.” “If information is electronic, then individual data elements should only be submitted once”.

The UN Trade Facilitation Implementation Guide encourages all member states to set up a Single Window. The aim is to reduce the burden of administrative processes by enabling importers/exporters to submit regulatory and commercial documents to respective government ministries and agencies electronically, with each data element submitted only once.

There are multiple potential benefits of a Single Window environment:


Flagship Single Window initiatives Include the National Trade Platform for Singapore – a one-stop, next-generation platform connecting the trade and logistics community and adjacent sectors such as trade finance. Businesses and service providers can tap into this open innovation platform to develop new applications to support evolving business needs.

It is estimated that the Singapore National Trade Platform could potentially bring up to S$600 million worth of man-hour savings annually to its economy.

However, whilst Single Windows have delivered significant gains over time, they have yet to be fully implemented in many countries. Barriers include the lack of interoperability among agencies in the supply chain, the ongoing use of outdated processes and the limited visibility and traceability of shipped goods.

With the development of new technologies such as the Internet of Things and Artificial Intelligence, new opportunities are emerging to improve efficiency, transparency and interoperability in trade systems. Emerging technologies such as blockchain offer significant potential to increase the adoption of trade Single windows. Lessons can be learnt from blockchain pilots currently taking place around the world.

Maritime Street is at the forefront of new technological developments affecting global trade logistics. Through our global strategic advisory services, we are perfectly positioned to advise governments and businesses on how to maximise the effectiveness of emerging technologies and implement National Trade Platforms. 

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