Eastern Caribbean to benefit from maritime single window

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Eastern Caribbean to benefit from maritime single window

Friday, December 04, 2020

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Soon , Eastern Caribbean countries will benefit from regional trade and improved border control operations through the establishment of a maritime single window which will utilise technology and shared data to monitor passenger and cargo information.

This new development was announced recently by director of Projects at the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), Daniel Best, at the launch of the Establishment of Integrated Border Systems in the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) Project at CDB headquarters in Barbados.

The establishment of the new integrated maritime solution will result in greater collaboration among maritime departments, port authorities, customs and other border agencies, as well as private sector stakeholders, such as shipping agents, freight forwarders and customs brokers, among others.

A functioning system will strengthen coordination and information sharing, resulting in a more simplified and streamlined process for clearance of goods and passengers. Additionally, both passengers and cargo will experience reduced wait and processing times and decreased paper burden as documents and processes are standardised.

Best further noted that customs authorities in beneficiary countries will receive an upgraded passenger portal to operationalise the maritime single window built in risk management capacity at the implementing agency, Caricom Implementing Agency for Crime and Security (IMPACS), for the existing cargo system and training for staff to utilise the newly developed technology.

According to the CBD, the OECS is the first to receive support from the European Development Fund (EDF)-financed CARIFORUM-European Union (EU) Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) and the Caricom Single Market and Economy (CSME) Standby Facility for Capacity Building.

The CDB has provided US$300,400 from its Special Development Fund for the project, and on November 12, 2020, the Standby Facility Steering Committee of the 11th European Development Fund (EDF) approved the disbursement of US$350,070.

The Standby Facility is a €8.75-million resource managed by the CDB which offers opportunities to 15 Caribbean economies to grow trade, deepen integration and economic involvement, impact competitiveness, market access and exports by implementing targeted projects in thematic areas.

Luis Maia, head of cooperation at the delegation of the European Union to Barbados, the Eastern Caribbean States, the OECS and Caricom/CARIFORUM, expressed satisfaction with the progress made by the Standby Facility despite the global pandemic.

“We are excited that this new facility will provide support in key areas of need. Notable actions will include improving sanitary and phytosanitary measures and quality infrastructure at the national level, enhanced market access and export capacity for key sectors,” he said.


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