ASEAN is developing the ASEAN Single Window (ASW) as an integrated platform for facilitating trade through faster clearance of cargo and release of shipments. The ASW connects each Member State’s National Single Window (NSW) which enables a single, synchronised submission and processing of data, as well as a single point of approval for customs clearance of cargo. The ASW is thus expected to boost cross-border trade as the processes for cargo clearance and shipment release are streamlined throughout the region.
The implementation of ASW ensures that NSWs are compatible with international open communication standards, thereby fostering predictability and transparency of trade-related procedures and regulations. Rules enforcement at the border is also enhanced in the process.
The ASW strengthens coordination among stakeholders as it will be a shared platform for use by government agencies, economic operators, transport and logistics operators. Faster approval of cargo releases through the ASW and NSWs means lower transaction costs which in turn enhance ASEAN’s trade competitiveness.
The full-fledged ASW Pilot Project Component 2, which outlines the transition plan proposed by the ASEAN Connectivity for Trade and Investment (ACTI), is being implemented in stages and is expected to end in December 2016.
The Protocol on the Legal Framework to Implement the ASW, which is more comprehensive than previous related agreements, was signed on 4 September 2015 by the ASEAN Finance Ministers. The said Protocol will govern the legal aspects of the implementation of the ASW across the region.