Security is a major issue in international trade. As globalisation continues apace, trade increasingly takes place across international borders. It is a challenge to ensure that trade is safe, legal and efficient. A number of initiatives seek to improve the speed at which freight can be cleared through border controls without compromising the integrity of loads and the ability to inspect suspect loads.
The Next Generation Single Window concept has been developed by the United Nations Centre for Trade Facilitation and Electronic Business (UN/CEFACT), the World Customs Organisation (WCO) and other bodies. It is a facility that allows parties involved in trade and transport to provide standardised information and documents through a single entry point to fulfil all regulatory requirements for import, export and transit. If information is electronic, individual data elements need only be submitted once. The United States’ eManifest system deployed along its land borders with Canada and Mexico is an example.
Storage of multiple data (such as crew/driver, load) in a single place offers many benefits. ANPR cameras van, for example, trigger the collection of data as trucks approach a border so that the correct manifest can be loaded ready for customs inspection. This speeds up inspections allowing more time for the more stringent secondary checks on those operators, drivers, trucks or cargo which have a history of customs infringements. It also offers the possibility of pooling data for planning and enforcement.