A Single Window Environment is a cross border, ‘intelligent’, facility that allows parties involved in trade and transport to lodge standardized information, mainly electronic, with a single entry point to fulfill all import, export and transit related regulatory requirements.
The WCO members prefer to use the term Single Window ‘Environment’ because Single Window implementations are invariably a collection of interdependent facilities, regulatory requirements and Cross Border Regulatory Agencies' business processes.
The establishment of the Single Window Environment for border control procedures for conveyance, transport equipment, goods and crew is considered by Customs Administrations as the solution for the complex problems of border automation and information management involving multiple Cross Border Regulatory Agencies.
A Single Window Environment sure is a complex technical issue, but it cannot work without the politics and other non-IT issues being examined first.
Please be advised to get the policy, legal and administrative frameworks analysed and sorted before looking at technical issues.
A good way to develop understanding about a Single Window Environment is to examine the various initiatives that have been launched around the world. These provide a broad picture about the technical approaches to Single Window. It is clear that data harmonization is the key piece in any such endeavor.
The following is a collection of links that lead to information on Single Window initiatives that are presently under various stages of implementation.