Senate passes single window bill to facilitate cross-border trade

The upper house of the parliament unanimously passed the Pakistan Single Window Bill, 2021 on Monday that would pave the way for improved ease of doing business (EODB) in cross-border trade.

Minister for Finance Hammad Azhar moved the bill in the house that met with Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani in the chair.

According to the objectives and reasons of the bill, the Pakistan Customs would be a lead agency to establish an information and communication technology-based National Single Window (NSW) system.

The NSW is a facility that allows parties involved in trade and transport to lodge standardised information and documents with a single entry point to fulfil all import, export and transit related regulatory requirements, and enables Pakistan to meet its obligations under the World Trade Organisation’s (WTO) trade facilitation agreement while improving ease of doing business in cross border trade.

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The draft PSW bill, 2020 provided a legal basis for the adoption of functional, operational, governance and revenue models required to develop and operate the NSW system on a sustainable basis and in line with the best international practices. This bill will help Pakistan comprehensively improve transparency, efficiency and control and imports, exports and transit trade besides meeting its international obligations.

It will also help Pakistan unlock its potential in becoming a regional hub for trade and transit by reducing time, cost and complications associated with the fulfilment of multiple paper based regulatory requirements.

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