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Asean Single Window still in test phase

Chea Vannak / Khmer Times Share:
A truck carries a container in Sihanoukville’s port. KT/Mai Vireak

Cambodia is prioritising the testing and implementation of the Asean Single Window, a system to streamline and digitalise export processes across Asean, according to a public official.

The cargo clearance system is now being tested in the Kingdom, with the government hoping to make it fully functional in the near future, Ho Sivyong, director of the export and import department, told Khmer Times yesterday.

The Asean Single Window is hailed as a secure system that enables trade, transport, and commercial data to be exchanged electronically among government agencies while reducing the paperwork involved in export procedures.

“We are ready and will soon join other Asean countries in the platform,” Mr Sivyong said, though he did not provide a concrete timeline.

In a speech in November, Mr Sivyong said that Cambodia was preparing to implement the system, which will automate and digitalise registration for export and import certificates.

“We’ve upgraded the system of issuing export certificates. The documents can now be signed and stamped electronically,” he said. “However, we are just in the testing phase.”

“We have been negotiating with other countries to get them to recognise our electronic signatures. The European Union has not recognised it yet. Not even Asean is implementing the system fully.”

Last year, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam officially launch the Asean Single Window in their borders.

Thailand has said that one of its goals as Asean chair this year will be to expand the system to the remaining Asean countries – Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Philippines, and Brunei.

Ngoun Meng Tech, director-general of the Cambodia Chamber of Council, said the Asean Single Window will cut time and costs in cross-border exchanges.

“It is important because it will make trade smoother,” Mr Meng Tech said. “I am glad to say that Cambodia is now further in the adoption of the system than most other countries.”

However, Mr Meng Tech said the system is unlike to be fully adopted by all Asean members this year. “There are still many things that need to be discussed and agreed upon by all Asean members. It will take time.”

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