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COMESA Pushes the Electronic Single Window System (eSW) for Customs Clearance

eSW is one of the key trade and transport facilitation instruments prioritized by most of the COMESA Member States to improve the ease of doing business environment and to enhance intra-regional trade in the region. In 2017, the COMESA Council of Ministers decided that the Member States should adopt a harmonized and standard data connectivity platform in the form of electronic single windows (eSWS) among government agencies and private stakeholders aimed at improving the intra-regional trade and investment environment at national and regional levels.

Further, the Council also directed that the Member States and the Secretariat work with development partners to develop a regional single window strategy and draw up activities that implement the strategy. Subsequently, a Technical Working Group (TWG) of Customs experts was set up to establish the eSW System in all COMESA Member States. This TWG recently conducted its first meeting to review various reports that have been prepared for the development of the eSW system. Among them were the Situational Assessment Study Report on Implementation of the eSW, the Draft Legal Framework, and the Draft Strategy for Development and Implementation of the eSW. Customs and Single window experts from Burundi, Djibouti, DR Congo, Eswatini, Ethiopia, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Somalia, Sudan, Uganda, Rwanda, Tunisia, and Zambia attended the meeting.

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