In the context of global trade liberalization, countries need to embark on Customs modernization, to adopt timely and cost-effective ways of conducting trade, and to capitalize on new opportunities.

Our trade facilitation solution which consist of a core application of a Single Window for electronic submission of manifests and declarations, the Mauritius TradeNet, seamlessly interfaced with a Customs Management System, have largely contributed to help Mauritius achieve these objectives. Modules for electronic submission of other trade documents, like Certificates of Origin and import/export permits, can be used as stand-alone or integrated within the Single Window.

Launched in 1994, the Mauritius TradeNet has been cited by the United Nations Centre for Trade Facilitation and Electronic Business (UN/CEFACT) as an example of a successful Single Window implementation in their recommendations and guidelines on establishing a Single Window (Recommendation No. 33 of 2005). It has contributed to Mauritius being ranked 12th amongst 189 countries in the area of “Trading Across Borders”, according to the World Bank’s “Doing Business 2014″. Continuous enhancements to the TradeNet have helped Mauritius to remain among the leaders across the African continent in matters of trade facilitation.

The TradeNet Single Window is an electronic platform that allows Customs brokers, shipping agents, freight forwarders, importers, and exporters to submit trade documents such as manifests and declarations to the Customs authorities and other stakeholders.

Compliant with the World Customs Organisation Data Model, the TradeNet Single Window not only allows standardized data to be submitted to all government agencies; it also facilitates the exchange of information for cross border trade.

Being both web and client-based, the TradeNet Single Window supports high volume transactions even in environments with limited bandwidth capacity, and can be seamlessly interfaced with a Customs Management System.

The TradeNet Single Window not only eliminates paper documents and reduces traveling to Customs; it also ensures greater transparency and efficiency in the goods clearance process, thus reducing the dwell time on cargo clearance.

Manifests and Declarations
Shipping agents, air cargo agents, as well as clearing and forwarding agents can easily submit master and house manifests electronically to Customs and other stakeholders, with the system providing data and business rules validations to minimize errors.

In addition, traders and agents can submit declarations and supporting documents electronically to Customs for approval and clearance of goods for any type of import and export regimes, including transshipment and freeport transactions.

Features like automatic calculation of duties, taxes and exemptions, e-payment of duties and taxes, and interfaces with e-freight systems facilitate the declaration process. Email notification on key events makes tracking the approval process easy.

The Customs Management System (CMS) is a comprehensive application designed to provide any Customs organization with the core functions, while being scalable and agile enough to allow Customs to respond quickly to the ever changing needs of the national and global economy. Operating for over twenty years in Mauritius and Ghana, it is a proven and robust solution for a paperless customs environment.

Compliant with the World Customs Organization data model, and developed using a leading Java Framework, the CMS has a fully browser-based GUI, supports the latest mainstream browsers, and is mobile friendly.

The CMS, when interfaced with the Mauritius TradeNet Single Window or other Single Windows, provides a complete and seamless solution for the trading community and Customs authorities for electronic processing of trade documents.

By eliminating procedural bottlenecks with automated processes, and with fast and transparent processing of documents, the cargo clearance time is accelerated for the benefit of all stakeholders.

It is a comprehensive solution for computerized Customs processes with the following core functions:

  • Validation and exchange of electronic messages with Single Window
  • Management of licensees and operators
  • Manifests validation, processing, and automatic jerking
  • Declarations processing, including amendments and cancellations
  • Selectivity criteria on any data element for risk management
  • Channelling of declarations for fast-track clearance, scanning, or physical examination
  • Payment in cash, cheque, or e-payment
  • Referencing other trade documents, like permits and certificates of origin
  • Claim and debt management
  • Warehouse and bond security management

This web-based system allows exporters to apply for Preferential Certificates of Origin (IOC, SADC, EUR1, Turkey, Pakistan) as well as Non-Preferential Certificates of Origin issued by Chambers of Commerce. The issuing authorities can also process and approve the certificates online or through their in-house systems.

With the convenience of applying anytime and anywhere, the electronic submission, processing and approval of this important document for international trade saves time and reduces costs in the export process.

The TradeLink is a state-of-the-art web-based system for applications of import and export permits to Other Government Agencies (OGA) with electronic workflows for processing, and multiple approvals for a permit in one single submission.

Harmonized data and standardized procedures across OGAs also result in more streamlined interactions between OGAs, thus shortening their time for approval of permits.

This single window for import and export permits further improves goods clearance time by routing the approved electronic permits to various parties.

The Freeport Online Tracking System is an innovative web-based application that allows Customs officials to monitor cargo movement within, from and to the Freeport, without any physical presence.

Authorized freeport developers, freight station operators, and Customs officials have access to the system to enter gate-in and gate-out information of freeport consignments.

To monitor dwell times for cargo movement between freeport zones, container terminal and freight stations, SMS alerts are automatically sent by the system to Customs for intervention, if preset dwell times are exceeded.

This combination of SMS and web technologies helps the Customs monitor cargo movement efficiently and effectively with fewer personnel, while such cargo movement within, from and to the Freeport is considerably speeded up.

To further enhance trade facilitation, warehousing operators are allowed to move goods to and from their warehouses, without Customs officers being physically present, and without having to deal with other bottlenecks such as Customs locks and request for warrants.

However, Customs will monitor the warehouse operator’s transactions and stock balance, by having a 24/7 access to the web-based Warehouse Management System which allows warehouse operators to upload or enter their stock movement after each warehousing or ex-warehousing transaction.

This not only allows faster goods movement in and out of warehouses, but also eliminates manual ledgers for recording of goods movement, which results in accurate and up-to-date stock balances.

The e-freight is a community based B2B2G solution interconnecting trade facilitation and supply chain platforms. It allows seamless two-way exchange of information based on data reuse, eliminating the need for repeated manual data entry. Freight information are managed more efficiently, and preparation of goods clearance documents faster and more accurate.

Leveraging on IATA’s Cargo-XML standards, it allows the electronic preparation of e-AWB from the Customs declaration, thus reducing paper use in air cargo processes.

Customs declarants are also able to prepare their electronic declarations with data reuse from documents like invoices, and packing lists, based on UNEDIFACT and World Customs Organisation standards.