Invitation to Workshop on Single Window

31.08.2017 Brent Juratowitch
Invitation to Workshop on Single Window

You are invited to attend a workshop focused on documenting the the needs and aspirations of Australian importers, exporters and international trade and logistics service providers in relation to a proposed Single Window for Trade for Australia. 

The workshop, hosted by ECA, will include a brief overview of Single Window concepts as well as a discussion session. It forms part of a research project being conducted by the Centre for Customs and Excise Studies on behalf of the Australian International Trade & Transport Industry Development Fund – details of the workshop are as follows.

Date: 27 September 2017
Time: 9am – 12 noon (a light lunch will be served at the completion of the workshop) 
Place: Export Council of Australia, Export House, Level 2, 22 Pitt St. Sydney NSW 2000
Facilitators: Bryce Blegen, Principal Researcher, Centre for Customs and Excise Studies, Charles Sturt University; Geoff Short, Principal Researcher, Centre for Customs and Excise Studies, Charles Sturt University
Fee: Complimentary


Registrations close on 25 September 2017.

We thank you for your participation in this research. Your input will be extremely valuable in informing the overall project and in the development of appropriate recommendations to government as to industry priorities and preferences in regard to the potential implementation of an Australian Single Window.


In December 2013, World Trade Organization (WTO) concluded negotiations on its Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA). The TFA entered into force on 23 February 2017.

The TFA contains provisions for expediting the movement, release and clearance of goods. This includes provisions which strongly encourage countries to establish a so-called “Single Window” enabling traders to submit documentation and/or data requirements for importation, exportation, or transit of goods through a single entry point to the participating authorities or agencies, as well as prescriptions relating to the optimization of interaction and exchange of information between these agencies.

The United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) definition of 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 information is electronic, then individual data elements should only be submitted once".

The international trade Single Window concept takes the common shopfront concept used in many areas of service delivery and applies it to the maze, often IT-enabled, which companies must navigate in order to comply with Australian border regulatory requirements, in particular those related to collection of information and border release processes. It is an initiative intended to support border agencies in working more collaboratively, in order to improve efficiencies for all stakeholders in cross-border trade.

Many countries already claim to have or are implementing a Single Window for trade including the United States, Canada, New Zealand, Mexico, Singapore and South Korea. Implementing such a facility in Australia could serve to improve trade facilitation by simplifying procedures and formalities for document submission and data collection, saving both government and business time and money. Singapore’s Single Window, for example, was created in 1989 and brings together more than 35 border agencies providing significant productivity and monetary gains.

In 2016, the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP), the Australian Business Register Program and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) formed a partnership to undertake two research studies, the Domestic Single Window Study and the International Single Window Study. The purpose was to assist the Australian Government to determine the next steps for Australian trade, import/export processes and regional trade cooperation. The studies were conducted by KPMG and KGH Customs Services respectively. The outcome in terms of future directions for a Single Window is still to be determined.

There remains, therefore, an opportunity for industry to influence the development and implementation of a Single Window and to ensure that it is aligned with TFA principles and that the requirements of those principles are taken into account as policy decision-makers progress this important issue.


The Australian International Trade & Transport Industry Development Fund has commissioned a research project to be conducted by the Centre for Customs and Excise Studies (CCES), with the support of the Export Council of Australia (ECA), to identify the required features and functionality of an effective Australian trade Single Window that appropriately reflect the needs and aspirations of the private sector.

The reference point for the review will be the relevant prescriptions in the TFA, as well as best practices for Single Window implementation identified in the KGH and KPMG reports commissioned by DFAT and DIBP, and the standards promulgated by recognized international authorities on this subject, such as UNECE and UN CEFACT (United Nations Centre for Trade Facilitation and E-Business).

As part of the project, CCES is conducting a workshop to research and document industry priorities and ambitions in relation to the development of an effective Single Window. The workshop aims to investigate: 

  • Regulatory and procedural pain points experienced by Australian importers, exporters and service providers engaged in international trade
  • The level of interest in, and demand for incorporating trade processes into a Single Window environment
  • Potential benefits that may accrue to both business and government from a more coordinated and cohesive approach to incorporating trade processes into a Single Window environment
  • Potential benefits of expanding the Single Window concept beyond a border clearance mechanism, to create a genuine one-stop portal for importers and exporters.


Get Regular Updates