A €540,258 Project to Increase the Efficiency of Trade Across Borders Through Digitalisation at The Port of Bridgetown
Supported by EPA & CSME Standby Facility for Capacity Building
The Barbados Port Community System (PCS) Project is intended to enhance efficiency and facilitate the real-time transfer of data to improve trading conditions in Barbados.
The specific objectives are to:
- Design, develop and implement a PCS system which would provide a neutral and open electronic platform to facilitate the secure and intelligent exchange of information between both public and private stakeholders;
- Reduce the length of time taken and associated costs to complete trade related transactions through simplification, standardization, rationalization and harmonization of processes, procedures and documentation while allowing for interoperability with other systems in real-time;
- Reduce clearance times for cargo through the electronic release of cargo across agencies;
- Improve the ability to track and trace cargo to eliminate discrepancies in cargo inventory
- across agencies;
- Provide an efficient mechanism for scheduling of inspections and collection of cargo to reduce wait times and;
- Standardize and streamline payments through an e-payments system for trade and logistics transactions.
The PCS is perhaps the most significant digital initiative at the Port. It is considered a critical infrastructural element and a reform tool for the trade facilitation architecture in Barbados.
The project will bring Barbados in compliance with Article 10 of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA), which involves: streamlining formalities and documentation requirements, accepting paper or electronic copies instead of original documents, implementing Single Windows that enable sharing of information between trade actors through a single platform, and implementing a Trade Information Portal where Average Release Times can be collated.
Focused on achieving seamless automation, it will support and complement ongoing trade facilitation and competitiveness, enhancing reforms being implemented by the Government to address national transport and logistics constraints.
The PCS will enable the electronic exchange of information between all port and logistics sectors, including the national Maritime Single Window as well as the Customs ASYCUDA World System. It will reduce the cost of port operations and add value and efficiency through the entire logistics and transportation chain.
This project has been prioritized among the Port’s digitalisation efforts to address the challenges related to the absence of a single point for one-time submission of documents; lack of capacity to facilitate cargo traceability; non-integration of logistics systems; and sub-optimal berth management and utilisation.
With the successful development and deployment of the PCS, Barbados will have a single point for the one-time submission of documents where licensing and permits are required. Customers will no longer have to physically visit the respective regulatory agencies to apply for and obtain licenses and permits. The entire documentation process will be streamlined. The current non-integrated logistics system involves the processing of multiple forms and depending on the type of import this could involve up to 20 agencies.
The release of cargo is currently done through a combination of electronic and paper-based processes. This at times creates bottlenecks in the Port as clearance must be obtained from different systems. An integrated process for releasing containers for delivery and exit clearance, as will be facilitated through the PCS, will eliminate these bottlenecks.
Phase 1: Development of the Maritime Single Window
Phase 2: Development of additional modules including the following:
- E-payment system
- Track and Trace Module
- Appointment System
- Security Investigative Facility and Joint Regional Communications Centre (JRCC) Integration
- Key Performance Indicator reports
Beneficiaries: All Port stakeholders including: The Ministry of Tourism & International Transport; The Ministry of Energy, Small Business and Entrepreneurship; The Barbados Customs and Exercise Department; The Shipping Association of Barbados; The Barbados Customs Brokers and Clerks Association Inc.; The Transportation Intermediaries of Barbados; The Barbados Chamber of Commerce and Industry; regulatory border agencies such as the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security, the Ministry of Health and Wellness, the Ministry of Finance, Economic Affairs and Investments and the Ministry of Small Business, Entrepreneurship and Commerce; Shipping lines and Shipping agents; Customs Brokers, Freighters and Consignees.
Start date: March 2020
Duration: 36 months
Financiers: Barbados Port Inc. $697,022; Caribbean Development Bank (Grant No.GA 16/BAR) funding in the sum of $615,806.
Partners: The Project was approved for implementation by the EPA and CSME Standby Facility Steering Committee. The EPA and CSME Standby Facility, also known as the CARIFORUM-European Union (EU) Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME) Standby Facility for Capacity Building, is a €8.75 million programme financed by the European Development Fund (EDF) and managed by the Caribbean Development Bank to support projects in CARIFORUM countries. It is intended to build capacity in the region and better position businesses to trade within CARIFORUM and the European Union.
Implementing Agency: Barbados Port Inc.
The Inception Report was completed and reviewed by Steering Committee; Situational Analysis Report was completed and reviewed by the Steering Committee; Study Tour to examine best practices in Ports was completed; Roadmap to Implementation was approved.
EPA AND CSME STANDBY FACILITY
The Barbados PCS Project was approved for implementation by the EPA and CSME Standby Facility Steering Committee in 2020. The EPA and CSME Standby Facility (also known as the CARIFORUM-European Union (EU) Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME) Standby Facility for Capacity Building) is a €8.75 million programme financed by the European Development Fund (EDF) and managed by CDB to support projects in Antigua and Barbuda, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, the Commonwealth of Dominica, the Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Saint Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, St Kitts and Nevis, Suriname, and Trinidad and Tobago (CARIFORUM). It is intended to build capacity in the region and better position businesses to trade within CARIFORUM and the European Union.