PSW Extends Coverage to Dry Ports in Pakistan

Pakistan (Muhammad Yasir)

Pakistan Single Window (PSW) has extended the scope of its operations to all dry ports (except Quetta) with effect from May 3, 2023, a move that will further facilitate the country’s cross-border trade operations.

With the new development, goods and commodities clearance of commercial consignments classified under Chapters 1 to 50 of the Pakistan Customs Tariff has been completely switched to PSW, allowing clearance of imported consignments via submission of a Single Declaration (SD). The Single Declaration is a core feature of the PSW system which enables parties involved in international trade to lodge standardized information and documents at a single-entry point to meet the regulatory requirements of multiple government agencies simultaneously. Currently PSW facilitates the clearance of imported items regulated by the Department of Plant Protection (DPP), Animal Quarantine Department (AQD), Federal Seed Certification and Registration Department (FSD&RD), and Pakistan Standards & Quality Control Authority (PSQCA) through the electronic issuance of import permits, release orders, and export certificates.

As the leading public sector entity responsible for the digital transformation of cross-border trade and the notified operator of the Pakistan Single Window (PSW) system, this development is a significant milestone in improving the ease of doing business through the streamlining and digitalization of clearance processes.

The CEO of Pakistan Single Window Syed Aftab Haider commented on the initiative, saying “The extension of PSW’s digitalization initiative to up-country dry ports is the latest in our steady effort to enable an increasingly seamless clearance process and improve trade facilitation in the country. As partners of the traders’ community, we believe that availing this new hassle-free, cost-effective, and harmonized system will expedite trade processes significantly.” He assured traders that the services of PSW at dry ports are easy to leverage and encourage reaching out to PSW via designated channels for information and ready assistance.

To stay effective, stakeholders must embrace digital platforms and services that make it easier for stakeholders to work together to promote the efficiency of the overall ecosystem. PSW views the dry ports as intricate partner networks that include terminal operators, trucking and logistics companies, clearing agents, freight forwarders etc. and fully supports the modernization of the customs and regulatory processes implemented at the dry ports. It intends to develop and implement a dry port community system to fully integrate all public and private sector stakeholders associated with dry port operations onto a single platform and provide traders end-to-end visibility on the movement of cargo. Application of real-time container and other cargo tracking systems based on information technologies can increase the reliability and security of goods’ transport operations between dry ports and seaports, thus allowing simplification of customs and other control formalities and reducing the time and cost.

Pakistan Single Window is an initiative led by Pakistan Customs, aimed at reducing the time and cost of doing business by digitalizing Pakistan’s cross-border trade and eliminating paper-based manual processes. The institution is working towards providing an integrated electronic platform that allows parties involved in international trade and transport to lodge standardized information and documents with a single-entry point to fulfill all import, export, and transit regulatory requirements.