In line with Pakistan’s commitment under Article 10.4 of the World Trade Organization’s Trade Facilitation Agreement, Pakistan successfully rolled out the first phase of the Pakistan Single Window (PSW) for trade and transportation integrating Pakistan Customs, Department of Plant Protection, Animal Quarantine Department, Federal Seed Certification & Registration Department, Pakistan Standards & Quality Control Authority, and the Export Development Fund. In addition, 29 commercial banks are already integrated with the PSW platform for the exchange of cross-border trade-related financial information in real-time.
The Minister of Finance and Revenues Miftah Ismail in a statement issued from his office said,“Our government is committed to reducing the time and cost of doing business and considers the Pakistan Single Window a significant initiative for digitalizing government processes and regulations pertaining to international trade which will not only help reduce the compliance costs for traders but will also provide increased transparency and predictability in cross border trade.”
He added, “I am confident that PSW initiative will help our exporters in reducing their compliance costs and thereby enhancing the competitiveness of Pakistan’s exports.” The Finance Minister congratulated the Pakistan Single Window team on achieving yet another of Pakistan’s international commitments under the WTO TFA in time and said that this system will enhance Pakistan’s export competitiveness and integration with the international supply chain”.
The PSW system began rolling out in July 2021 and currently has more than 52,000 registered users. Services currently offered by the system include electronic customs registration, online processing, and issuance of import permits, Phyto-sanitary certificates, release orders and other documents pertaining to the above-mentioned government agencies, and digital payments.
Under a major reform initiated in collaboration with the State Bank of Pakistan, digital integration with commercial banks replaced electronic Form ’E’ and Form ‘I’ previously required for each trade transaction.
The PSW initiative was launched in 2017 with Pakistan Customs as the designated lead agency. The system is being developed and rolled out in phases by the PSW Company which is the notified ‘Operating entity’ for the PSW system under the provisions of the Pakistan Single Window Act, 2021.