PH set to interconnect with Asean online trading platform

By Edu Lopez

The Philippines would soon be connected with the Asean Single Window (ASW), an online trading platform that aims to facilitate regional trade and commerce.

Department of Finance (DOF) undersecretary Gil Beltran said the initial ASW interconnection tests starting with Indonesia had been successful.

The ASW is a regional initiative that aims to speed up cargo clearances and promote economic integration by enabling the electronic exchange of border documents among the Asean member-states.

Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand are already using the ASW to exchange information on customs clearances. Interconnection tests for other newly-connected countries such as Cambodia and Brunei are in progress until May.

The DOF, in partnership with the Department of Information Technology (DICT), established the Philippine NSW through the TradeNet platform, which will involve a total of 76 agencies to make it fully operational.

The Philippines has so far engaged 65 of the 76 government regulatory agencies that are required to go online to streamline applications for permits on imports and exports.

The TradeNet platform for traders, which will also serve as the Philippines’ link to the Asean ASW gateway, was launched last December and is expected to minimize the costs of doing business and cut the processing time for the issuance of import and export permits.

“Although there were some gaps in the responses between the two systems, the initial testing on the ASW connection with Indonesia was successful,” said Beltran.

The Bureau of Customs (BOC) is set to identify five exporters who will pilot test TradeNet this month.

Beltran said a team will do a demonstration on the integrated importer accreditation module which aims to simplify the accreditation process for importers. This module will later link accreditation records of regulatory agencies to the BOC records to form a full importer profile.

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