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WCO supports Zimbabwe Single Window Project to strengthen its engagement with partner government agencies

25 noviembre 2022

To build the Zimbabwe Electronic Single Window (ZeSW) capacity to strengthen its engagement with partner government agencies, the WCO, within the framework of the Sida-WCO Trade Facilitation and Customs Modernization (TFCM) Programme, organized a five-day Workshop on the Single Window and WCO Data Model which took place from 31 October to 4 November 2022. Hosted by the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA), 40 participants from ZIMRA, United National Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD as a solution provider), partner government agencies, and private sector representatives attended the Workshop.

Setting the context, the ZIMRA representative presented the current status and future roadmap of the ZeSW. The representative highlighted that in preparation for the Single Window implementation, the administration undertook a number of activities, including reviewing the current regulatory requirements, identifying process re-engineering, and building the Single Window concept.

The WCO experts stressed the importance of involving partner government agencies and other relevant stakeholders early in the development process. Such an approach will help all parties to develop high-level buy-in and ownership of the Single Window. In addition, the WCO shared the role of the Single Window in enhancing competitiveness, trade facilitation, and border modernization. The WCO experts and participants discussed several topics related to Single Window development, such as the Coordinated Border Management mindset of Single Window collaboration, Single Window models, designing single window services, establishing Single Window Governance, and integrated risk management.

A WCO-accredited expert from the Customs Administration of Nigeria shared her national experience in developing and managing the National Single Window. The expert informed that the Nigeria National Single Window was developed in connection with the Customs Reform and Modernization programme and aimed to achieve visible trade facilitation, cutting cost and time, and simplifying complex international trade procedures.
Participants and Workshop Facilitators undertook a Business Process Re-Engineering exercise based on the example of an agricultural product import process. Utilizing the Unified Modelling Language (UML) diagrams (i.e., Use case, Activity, and Sequence Diagrams), the participants visualized and demonstrated possible simplification of import processes that could be streamlined within the Single Window environment. Such processes include trader registration, licensing, selectivity for documentary and physical intervention (inspection), and duty/tax/fee payment processes.

Regarding data harmonization, participants examined licensing documents used by several partner government agencies in Zimbabwe and identified a number of data requirements that overlap. The WCO Experts guided the participants in utilizing the WCO Data Model (DM) App’s mapping tool to map the national datasets to the WCO DM. The tool assisted the participants in harmonizing redundant data elements based on the standardized data definition of the WCO DM. Participants were encouraged to keep using the tools during the Single Window design and implementation.

Closing the Workshop, the participants appreciated the WCO’s assistance in moving the ZeSW development to the next level and committed to following the recommendation produced in the Workshop.

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