Ministry Of Commerce In Collaboration With International Partner Raises Awareness On The National Single Window Implementation

Group photo of participants at the Forum
Group photo of participants at the Forum
Photo Credit: Public Affairs

Wednesday - Mamba Point, Monrovia 23 May 2018, The Ministry of Commerce and Industry in collaboration with the African Alliance for E–Commerce (AAEC), with support from the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) through the African Trade Policy Center (ATPC), conducted a two-day workshop intended to raise awareness on National Single Window implementation in Liberia on Tuesday and Wednesday, 22nd and 23rd May 2018 at the Mamba Point Hotel in Monrovia. The workshop, was facilitated by local and international experts, brought together trade-related Ministries and Agencies and the Private Sector (logistics and financial institutions, etc.) from Liberia, Ghana, Sierra Leone and Nigeria and provided practical concept on National Single Window implementation as an efficient tool for the facilitation of trade formalities. The participants, at the end of the workshop adopted recommendations for the implementation of a National Single Window for their various countries.

 

The Minister of Commerce and Industry, Prof. Wilson K. Tarpeh, in his opening remarks accentuated the importance of the implementation of a National Single Window in Liberia as it allows parties involved in trade and logistics to lodge documents through a single entry point to fulfill import, export and transit-related regulatory requirements (UN/CEFACT’s Recommendation 33). He also asserted that the World Trade Organization (WTO) Trade Facilitation Agreement Article 12, sub-section 4.1, encourages members to establish or maintain a single window that will enable traders to submit documentations and/or data requirements for importation, exportation, or transit of goods through a single entry point to the related authorities or agencies. The Minister also noted that the benefits of implementing the National Single Window will cut across all spheres in the Liberian economy as it will reduce number of days require for the clearance of goods, through a more transparent and predictable process. For the Government, Professor Tarpeh highlighted, it will increase customs revenue through a more controlled working environment, while the commercial banks will benefit through increased customers, and the amount of funds passing through banks’ operations.

 

The Vice President for Administration of the AAEC, Matthew Soputamit, expressed appreciation to the Ministry of Commerce and Industry – especially the Minister – for hosting the workshop. He mentioned that if the African continent is to ride itself from relying on aid and benevolence of donors, it will be through trade. He also stressed the significance of having very efficient trading regimes in African countries for the continent to gain momentum in global trade and the better tool to achieve this is through the implementation of the single window systems.