WCO National Single Window Workshop held in Belize

01 agosto 2019

As part of the HMRC-WCO-UNCTAD TFA Implementation Programme, the World Customs Organization (WCO) organized a National Single Window Workshop in Belize City, Belize, from 15th to 19th July 2019 to support the Customs & Excise Department (CED).  The event was delivered as a follow-up to the outcomes of the Belize Mercator Diagnostic mission.  Belize CED, as Chair of the National Trade Facilitation Committee, is actively considering building a Single Window environment in coordination with other Cross-Border Regulatory Agencies (CBRAs) and international stakeholders.  The CED Comptroller, Mr. Collin Griffith, in his opening speech, welcomed the participants and the WCO support mission to Belize. He emphasized the efficiency and the positive impact that a Single Window system would bring to the national economy in Belize, and stressed the role of the CBRAs in the smooth implementation of a Single Window project.

The Workshop aimed to raise awareness of several aspects of the Single Window environment in the early planning stages, looking mainly at potential challenges such as ensuring effective stakeholder engagement, introducing an enabling legal framework, and re-engineering business processes, and also at lessons learned from other countries in implementing a national Single Window.

Among other topics, the Workshop emphasized the paramount role of all agencies in achieving a sound Single Window operating environment, and also discussed the role played by ASYCUDA WORLD, existing legacy systems such as BELAPS, and other ongoing projects in Belize related to the dematerialization and digitalization of current CBRA processes in the context of SW Architecture. It also looked at the possible way forward in developing a SW portal to support the verification and validation of licences, permits certificates and other regulatory requirements.   

The Workshop was attended by 51 participants from the Customs Administration, Ministry of Health, Economic Development Council, Belize Agricultural Health Authority, Financial Intelligence Unit, Port of Belize Ltd, Belize Port Authority, Belize Bureau of Standards, Belize Post Office, Forestry Department, Big Creek Group, Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Finance, Belize Trade and Investment Development Service, Directorate-General for Foreign Trade, Customs Brokers Association, Central Information Technology Office, Police and Transport Agency. Participants played an active role and made a positive contribution.

The Belize CED delegation, headed by the Comptroller, held a side meeting with the WCO experts and discussed potential follow-up cooperation with the WCO to further support Belize in its journey to building a national Single Window environment.

The Workshop was closed by the Assistant CED Comptroller, Mr. Gilbert Gordon, who stressed the importance of the Workshop and the role of the WCO in inspiring  a clear vision and cooperation with all stakeholders on the national and international level, facilitating the seamless movement of intra-regional trade in Central America.