UK government seeks business input on long-term customs systems – including Single Trade Window

Tue 8 Feb 2022
Posted by: William Barns-Graham
Trade News

digital trade

The government is asking businesses, traders and the public to get involved in helping to shape long-term customs policy.

HMRC and the Treasury have published a call for evidence as the government looks to deliver “the world’s most effective border by 2025”.

Long-term programmes

Lucy Frazer MP, financial secretary to the Treasury, said the 12-week consultation would allow traders and the wider border industry to have a say on how the customs system is working and what improvements they would like to see.

“We’re taking this forward across a number of long-term programmes, including the Single Trade Window, which will streamline how traders share information with government,” she added.

Interested parties

According to the government, this call for evidence is likely to be of most interest to traders, intermediaries, freight forwarders, fast parcels operators and hauliers.

It will also be relevant to business representative organisations, trade bodies and customs consultancies that help traders with their customs affairs.

Government will be asking for suggestions on:

  • improvements to help traders access a quality customs intermediary sector
  • how the benefits of the Simplified Customs Declarations Process (SCDP) can be expanded
  • how the Transit facilitation can be improved

The government call for evidence will run until Monday 2 May 2022.

Single Trade Window

The IOE&IT has mounted its own survey, on behalf of the Cabinet Office, to identify what its members want from a Single Trade Window.

The government has committed £180m to build a UK Single Trade Window that will reduce the cost of trade by streamlining trader interactions with border agencies.

It will allow traders to lodge information digitally with a single body to fulfil all national import or export related regulatory requirements. It is also a key commitment of the 2025 Border Strategy.

Global concept

Customs administrations such as Singapore, Sweden, the US and New Zealand already have a Single Trade Window in place, with more in development worldwide, including the EU. 

A government discussion paper has been published to help inform input from interested parties.

Free webinar

The IO&&IT is also running a free one-hour webinar on the opportunities that a Single Trade Window could present UK traders.

IOE&IT Academy director Kevin Shakespeare and a panel of experts will present the session on 14 February 2022.

The webinar will look at:

  • Features of a Single Trade Window
  • How traders stand to benefit
  • How Single Trade Window programmes operate globally 
  • Findings from the IOE’s recent survey about digitalising UK trade