Kevin Shakespeare, director of strategic projects and international development at the Institute of Exports and International Trade (IOE&IT), gives a quick summary of what a single trade window is and what the UK government is trying to achieve:
"The UK is currently going through the process of developing a single trade window. The concept is very much this, 'tell us once' approach, whereas currently, if you’re a business or intermediary or a freight forwarder, you are having to input data into different government systems. Sometimes, it’s very similar data being put into different government systems.
"The idea of a single trade window is that you just tell the government once through the single trade window and you’re not having to tell them multiple times. But it also provides the opportunity for the retention of data and the creation of templates.
"It means you’re just giving new data, for example, changes in the valuation of goods, the weight of the goods and so on.
As we can see, the opportunity here for a single trade window is to reduce the cost of trade and the time of trade. But it also reduces the propensity for error."