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Customs aims to reach Rs.1tn revenue with ‘Single Window’ system

14 January 2016 02:56 am - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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By Shabiya Ali Ahlam
Sri Lanka Customs yesterday said it aimed to reach an ambitious revenue target of Rs.1 trillion for this year having launched the Single Window system earlier this month.

Single Window is a facility that allows parties involved in trade and transport to lodge standardized information and documents with a single entry point to fulfil all import, export and transit-related regulatory requirements.  If the information is electronic, it is required for the individual data elements to be submitted only once. Implying the administration has taken up a more focused approach, Sri Lanka Customs Director General Chulananda Perera said the key aspects would not be managed in an “ad hoc” manner.

“This year we will focus on improving our technical aspects to improve the information quality side. We will take all the information into intelligence and have in place a highly effective system. 

While we will upgrade, we are certain that within this year the processes will be convenient for all stakeholders,” he said. 

Perera added that the Single Window system being simple and practical, there would be a smooth flow of information between the government and trader, which in turn will bring “meaningful” gains to all stakeholders.

The new system aims at helping traders in reducing unnecessary delays and cumbersome procedures. It assures faster clearance.

To ensure the system is used to fulfil the set objective, Sri Lanka Customs has arranged for its staff to take part in capacity building programmes carried out by foreign resource persons. 

Since the system went live on January 4, 15 Border Regulatory Agencies are already linked to facilitate easy approvals.

The agencies are: Imports and Exports Control Department, Sri Lanka Standards Institution, Sri Lanka Tea Board, Telecommunication Regulatory Authority, Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Department, Wildlife Conservation Department, National Medicine Regulatory Authority, Food Control Administration Unit, Coconut Development Authority, Agriculture Department, Animal Production and Health Department, Consumer Affairs Authority, Forest Department, Geological Survey and Mines Bureau and Trade and Investment Policy Department.

To further improve the initiative, Sri Lanka Customs ICT Division Deputy Director Athula Lankadeva stated it is essential for all the relevant ministries to come on board.

“Sri Lanka Customs is committed to offer the facility of paperless processing to the compliant traders and take the necessary steps to complete the requisite tasks on priority basis,” assured Lankadeva.

The ICT policy for the Customs Department is currently being developed and is in the midst of incorporating provisions for information security management suitable for paperless processing, more controls in granting access to the Customs computer system and procedures for dealing with breach of access policy.
 
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