Highlights — 20 July 2019 — by Kory Leslie (freelance writer)
A “Single Window” for Customs

BELIZE CITY, Thurs. July 18, 2019– The Belize Customs Department has embarked on a workshop to familiarize themselves with a new program to improve the efficiency of our border trade procedures known as the “Single Window”. The Single Window is an electronic database where all permits and documents required for importation and exportation can be accessed.

The Belize Customs Department has collaborated with the World Customs Organization to implement this system to enable the department to accept these documents through one inlet and for the importer/exporter to have access to these resources in one central place, instead of having to visit the various offices to complete transactions.

The workshop featured training from a representative from the World Customs Organization and was presented to the appropriate Government offices as the Single Window program progresses past its preliminary phase.

The representative highlighted that the new database does not only impact the Customs Department  but various public sector agencies as well, such as departments that fall under the Ministry of Agriculture, Health etc. The system provides all the information and processes needed to carry out an importation and/or exportation transaction, and provides instructions on how to fill out necessary applications, as well as publications of all fees, etc.

The initiative was also carried out as a follow-up measure in the implementation of the Trade Facilitation Agreement which was ratified by Belize Customs Department and the World Customs Organization in 2015.

The workshop will continue until the end of the week, and should allow the regulatory agencies who participated to implement the Single Window system in their own respective sectors.

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