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Digitalising Trade Data

Recently, Commissioner Edward Kieswetter of the South African Revenue Service (SARS) stated that the SARS Customs division will scale up digital transformation and increase data usage to improve the facilitation of trade, revenue collection, and compliance by import and export traders across SA’s borders.  SA joins other countries across the globe which are making progress on digitalizing international trade formalities during the COVID pandemic, but stronger efforts are needed to facilitate trade for small and medium-sized enterprises and other groups and sectors with special needs, according to a report launched today by the United Nations regional commissions.

The report is based on the Fourth United Nations Global Survey on Digital and Sustainable Trade Facilitation. COVID has revealed many weaknesses in the trading system. The survey results show that most countries have implemented short-term crisis measures. However, the overall implementation level of measures in the ‘Trade Facilitation in Times of Crisis’ section stands at 41%, essentially because many countries still lack long-term trade facilitation plans to enhance preparedness for future crises.


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