This article was published before we became the Chartered Institute of Export & International Trade on 10 July 2024, and this is reflected in references to our old brand and name. For more information about us becoming Chartered, visit our dedicated webpage on the change here.

HMRC Single Trade

The government has today (Thursday 21 July) announced its public consultation on the design of a UK Single Trade Window border system and the development of any future legislation required to deliver it.

A Single Trade Window (STW) is a digital portal through which traders can input all customs and trade data relating to a goods movement, helping to pave the way for the digitalisation of international trade in the UK.

The government said that an STW would provide traders with a single gateway through which they can deal with government which would “improve trade flows and cut costs”.

Recognising that making better use of border data is crucial to delivering on the commitments of the government’s 2025 UK Border Strategy, HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) is seeking views from traders about data handling, security concerns and IT systems ‘interoperability’.

The consultation launched on the same day as HMRC published a report on qualitative research conducted by Kantar Public with SME traders that explored attitudes towards a Single Trade Window.

Previewed at IOE&IT MemberCon22

The consultation was flagged at the IOE&IT’s MemberCon22 conference on 12 July.

With a deadline of 15 September for parties to respond, the government said that “cooperation and co-design are critical to the success of our Border Strategy and the Single Trade Window”. 

Data core to Single Trade Window

The government said it must amend current legislation governing the collection, use and sharing of data and legislation underpinning specific declaration types, to ensure it is compatible with the STW.

Four key areas regarding legislative change to support the delivery of the STW have been identified:

  • The collection, use and sharing of data within government including to support pre-population and multi-filing
  • Enabling government visibility, and use of, supply chain data
  • Facilitating trade through targeted international data-sharing with other countries and territories, subject to appropriate data protection arrangements
  • Transitioning to the STW as the sole point of entry to government systems collecting data to government systems collecting data required for transactional processes

How to respond

The government questionnaire has 30 questions for those willing to respond, who can do so via:

Questions about the STW? Call the IOE&IT member helpline

The IOE&IT is currently formulating its response to the consultation and urges its Business members with any questions on the STW to call the Institute’s International Trade Technical Helpline here.

The consultation follows a discussion paper entitled ‘UK Single Trade Window - Policy discussion paper’ published by the government in December 2021.