National Trade Information Portal to come next July

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By 2017-10-18

By Kamal Kandewatta

The national Trade Information Portal (TIP) will be open to the public by next July, the Head of the Secretariat of National Trade Facilitation Committee (NTFC) revealed recently.
"Our plan is to complete the portal and open to the trading community by July next year," asserted Head of the Secretariat of NTFC and Additional Director General of Customs, S Rajendran.

He admitted, "I know it is an ambitious target, but we have all the support we need, so I hope we can achieve the target on time."
The Trade Information Portal (TIP) is the web-based database which provides regulatory information related to cross-border operations of a country on a single platform.

The TIP is a composite basket of information such as laws and regulations applicable for cross-border operations, trade-related data, commodity classifications, technical standards and other trade-related information.
The Trade Information Portal and the National Single Window facilities come as a part of the World Trade Organization (WTO) Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA). The TFA was ratified by two-thirds of the WTO members to allow greater flexibility in cross-border operations.

WTO, as the main facilitator, is providing technical support to establish the portal and the assistance to collect and upload data. The WTO promises additional supervisory support as well.

The implementation of the TIP would improve the transparency of cross-border operations, reducing transaction cost. Both traders and regulators will have the benefit of accessing information efficiently at zero cost, since the trade portal is freely accessible.

To conclude, the Government will also benefit, as it can monitor exports and imports processes and minimize the possibility of illegal cross-border operations, including tax evasion.

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