EXPRESSION OF INTEREST: TO PROVIDE TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE TO ANALYSE GAPS IN THE OPERATIONALISATION OF THE NATIONAL SINGLE WINDOW (SW) IN MADAGASCAR

The Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) received funding from the European Union towards the implementation of EDF 11-Trade Facilitation Programme  and intends to apply a portion of the proceeds of this funding to eligible payments under the consultancy services to provide technical assistance to analyse gaps in the operationalisation of the national single window (SW) in Madagascar

Madagascar, a full member of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), acceded to the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) in 2016, recognising the positive relationship between development and trade facilitation. International trade, characterised by the increased use of advanced information and communication technologies, prompted the members of the World Trade Organisation when drafting the agreement, to provide in Article 10.4 that ” Members shall endeavour to establish or maintain a 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.” In fact, operationalising a single window system is identified as a key element in the process of improving the environment for cross-border trade. The benefit of having a single window in place is that it simplifies international trade procedures, by putting information and communication technology at the service of the modernisation of government agencies.

Madagascar’s National Trade Facilitation of Committee (NTFC) has manifested its commitment to this provision by including the need to establish a National Single Window in its National Roadmap; although the TradeNet Platform has been used as a customs single window since 2007, the system is far from being unanimously accepted by all trade stakeholders. The TradeNet single window, which essentially centralises customs clearance, payment and handling operations, currently manages about forty authorisations through the MIDAC platform, while other regulatory bodies and ministries still opt for the non-digitised system. Furthermore, the failed experience of a physical single window and the operation of a similar system for mining activities, demonstrates the divergence within the public sector regarding the type of national single window to use. The lack of a well-established legal framework, among other obstacles, only serves to underscore the country’s non-compliance with Article 10.4 of the Agreement. 

2.0 OBJECTIVES OF THE ASSIGNMENT

The objective of this assignment is to provide technical assistance to the Madagascar National Trade Facilitation Committee with an analysis of the SW Implementation in Madagascar and compliance with the provisions of the WTO TFA Article 10.4 and assist the Authorities in their decision- making process by proposing the most efficient and effective single window (SW) system schemes for Madagascar and the drafting the related project document.

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