Background

U.S. Customs and Border Protection and Singapore Customs have signed a letter of intent that will enable closer cooperation in the areas of trade facilitation, revenue protection, and risk management.

According to a CBP press release, the LOI formalizes the two countries’ commitment to sharing trade data and exploring the possible connection of the their national single windows for trade facilitation. Single windows are electronic systems that automate and expedite the processing of import and export data by allowing traders to input standardized information in a single entry point to fulfill all import and export requirements. According to Singapore Customs, the two sides will begin by data mapping and sharing technical competencies, and a pilot program may be carried out.

“Government-to-government data sharing is rapidly becoming an important component of efficient and secure trade, and CBP looks forward to working with Singapore Customs on this forward thinking approach to trade facilitation,” said CBP Executive Assistant Commissioner Brenda Smith. Singapore Customs added that the mutual exchange of trade data will “facilitate customs declarations by the business community and allow both customs administrations to better conduct advance risk assessment.”

CBP states that the letter of intent builds on the authorized economic operator mutual recognition agreement and the customs mutual assistance agreement the two sides concluded in 2014. This collaboration also complements the U.S.’ continued engagement with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations’ Single Window Steering Committee on trade facilitative data exchange and single window connectivity and interoperability.

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