Single Window Guidelines

Even as there are several Single Window initiatives taking shape all over the world, there are no clear standards or guidelines concerning this area. Customs is increasingly being expected to participate in and take responsibility for Single Window implementations.

The document “Single Window: Implications for Customs Administrations” [ru] describes the possible impact that developments around a Single Window Environment has on the future of Customs' Business.

WCO has developed Single Window Data Harmonization Guidelines [ru] to provide Single Window environment developers with tools that can be used in order to achieve data harmonization and to develop internationally standardized data sets including the data element names, definitions, the United Nations Trade Data Element Directory (UNTDED) tag and the formats.

To support capacity building efforts, the WCO has developed a Compendium on “How to Build a Single Window Environment”. The WCO SW Compendium was updated in 2017 and was endorsed by the Council in the same year July session. The new title of the Compendium, which still consists of two Volumes, i.e., Volume 1 [ru] (Executive Guide) and Volume 2 [ru] (Practitioners’ Guide), is “Building a Single Window Environment.” The Chapters have been re-named as Parts (Part I, Part II, etc.). Each Part focuses on a particular area of the SW Environment, providing comprehensive guidance on that specific area. Structural and editorial improvements have been made to some Parts, and four new Parts have been developed.

A new Part VIII entitled “Data: Ensuring Quality, Security & Privacy”, that focuses on issues relating to data quality, data handling and data confidentiality in the Single Window Environment, has been added to Volume 1. Volume 2 includes three new Parts, on Public Private Partnerships (Part II), the Integrated Risk Management approach as part of a Single Window Environment (Part VIII), and Performance Management & Sustainability (Part IX). Certain other aspects suggested by Members have been incorporated in different Parts, inter alia business processes related to e-payments, Tax Authorities and Customs cooperation, and the re-engineering of business process in the initial stages of SW implementation, were also addressed in the updated version of the Compendium. Additionally, each Part is intended to be separately downloadable by Members and practitioners.

"A Supplement Edition to the WCO Single Window Compendium"On How to build a Single Window Environment" was developed in 2015. The Supplement provides a succinct approach to the Single Window concept, which would be useful to Members and other stakeholders in the implementation/enhancement of Single Window environment. It would serve as a supplementary training package for national and regional Technical Assistance and Capacity Building activities".

The United Nations Centre for Trade Facilitation and Electronic Business (UNCEFACT) has developed Recommendation 33 [ru] on the subject, which is an important piece of work in this area.