Priority agencies for TradeNet onboarding identified

Joint cluster virtual conference of the National Single Window Technical Working Group on April 20. Photo from the Bureau of Customs.
  • Trade regulatory government agencies (TRGA) with IT departments and automated trade-related processing systems are a priority in the onboarding to TradeNet
  • Also a priority are TRGAs that have undertaken onboarding activities such as business data gathering and commodity codes identification
  • TRGAs not complying with the order to get on board TradeNet will be sent warnings and may face investigations or appropriate administrative actions

Trade regulatory government agencies (TRGA) that have their own information technology departments and automated systems for trade-related processes will come first in the onboarding to TradeNet, the government’s platform for processing applications for import and export permits.

Also a priority are TRGAs that have undertaken onboarding activities such as business data gathering and commodity codes identification.

This was agreed on during the joint cluster virtual conference of the National Single Window (NSW) Technical Working Group (TWG) on April 20 in order to expedite the onboarding of TRGAs, according to the Bureau of Customs (BOC).

BOC said that based on initial survey findings of the Department of Finance (DOF)’s TradeNet Project Management Office, majority of the TRGAs already have their own IT departments, with a number of agencies having their own automated systems for trade-related processes.

The Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA), as vice chair for NSW Onboarding Matters, during the conference reported a decision to send out notices of warning to agencies that are non-responsive and non-compliant with the Ease of Doing Business and Anti-Red Tape Advisory (EODB-ARTA) Council Resolution No. 12 and ARTA Memorandum Circular (MC) No. 2021-01 issued last March 5.

READ: ARTA orders mandatory integration of regulatory agencies in TradeNet

The EODB-ARTA Council Resolution No. 12 mandates the onboarding of 73 TRGAs involved in the processing and issuance of license, permit, clearance, and certification for the movement (import-export-transit) of cargo to TradeNet by the second week of April.

ARTA MC 2021-01 mandates TRGAs to get on board TradeNet within 10 weeks from the issuance of MC 2021-01 and after receiving a letter-request to onboard that was signed by ARTA, DOF, BOC and the Department of Trade and Industry.

MC 2021-01 grouped TRGAs into clusters, with priority agencies that are already using the old NSW and are part of the National Effort for the Harmonization of Efficient Measures of Inter-related Agencies Program on Logistics.

The other clusters are the logistics and port operations; agriculture and food cluster; chemicals, oils, minerals, environment cluster; general merchandise and retail sector; tax and duty exempt cluster; relief consignment and foreign donations cluster; monitoring and oversight cluster; economic zones and freeport zones cluster; and Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Single Window (ASW) cluster.

ARTA warned that those that still fail to comply with the orders will be investigated or meted appropriate administrative actions for violating relevant laws.

These laws include Republic Act (RA) No. 11032 (Ease of Doing Business and Efficient Government Service Delivery Act of 2018), Administrative Order 23 (Eliminating overregulation to promote efficiency of government processes), RA 6713 (Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees), and RA 3019 (Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act).

TradeNet serves as the country’s NSW, the platform required to connect to the ASW, a regional initiative to speed up cargo clearance and promote regional economic integration by enabling the electronic exchange of border documents among the 10 ASEAN member states.

TradeNet is set to replace NSW Phase 1, currently operated by BOC and which was launched in 2010 and deployed in 2011. In 2017, the NSW Steering Committee issued a resolution to adopt TradeNet as the new NSW.

TradeNet aims to simplify import and export documentary processes covering an initial 7,400 regulated products. The goal is for all the TRGAs across 18 government departments to be fully interconnected via TradeNet.

ARTA earlier noted that TradeNet currently has only two agencies that are live pilot users. Four agencies are now preparing to go live, 13 agencies are undergoing process refinements, while 26 have been admitted for configuration and linking.