Hong Kong launched on December 28, 2018 Phase 1 of the Trade Single Window to facilitate the lodging of trade documents through a single electronic platform, the territory’s government said.
The platform initially covers five types of import and export trade documents for specific types of commodities, it said.
Members of the trade can lodge the relevant types of trade documents through the platform round the clock and check the status of their applications and the validity of the licenses or permits at any time.
Reuse of data for future applications is also more convenient.
The platform will be implemented in three phases. Phase 1 will be progressively extended to cover some 13 types of trade documents in the first half of 2019 at the earliest.
During Phase 1, trade members can still use the existing counter services operated by relevant government departments to submit trade documents.
Phase 2 will cover some 28 additional types of trade documents.
Trade documents covered by these two phases are mainly those for specific types of commodities, such as licenses for the import and export of specific controlled products.
Phase 3 will cover trade documents required or proposed to be required for all cargo, for example, Import and Export Declaration, Advance Cargo Information, and Cargo Report.
Subject to satisfactory progress of all the preparatory work, the government plans to roll out Phase 2 in 2022 and Phase 3 in 2023 at the earliest.
The Customs & Excise Department has set up a dedicated office to oversee the system’s operation and provide support to users through training, help desk, and hotline services.