August 21, 2018

Single window mechanism streamlines port procedures for import and export firms

Ever since the introduction of the single window mechanism, Zhangjiang Huizhi Lakefront has attracted a growing number of innovative companies.

The single window has changed the way ports are managed, thus realizing real trade facilitation, said Liu Hong, general-manager assistant of E&P International, the developer of the mechanism.

In the past, companies had to go through many supervision entities, including customs, market regulation organizations, inspection organizations, and maritime safety administration to hand in their documents to declare their shipments and for their ship to enter or exit ports.

The situation has changed since the introduction of the single window mechanism, which establishes a shared database among all the supervision organizations to make it more convenient for the companies, Liu added.

After four years’ of practice, the single window mechanism has realized functions such as shipments importing and exporting, payment and settlement, data sharing, and a dozen other functional modules. The single window has docked with 22 entities such as the Shanghai Customs, Shanghai General Station of Immigration Inspection, and Shanghai Commission of Commerce.

The shipment declaration process time has been shortened from 24 hours to just 30 minutes; the ship declaration time has been reduced from two days to two hours, saving the related costs up to 2 billion yuan (US$ 292.68 million), accounting for one third of the total importing and exporting volume in the country, or 40 million standard container throughput.

The single window’s development will be regionalized and integrated according to the E&P International. The company has formed partnership with some shipping companies to promote the single window’s service functions to the Yangtze River Delta region, such as the electronic version of container interchange receipt, which has retired the 40-year-old paper container interchange receipt.