Singapore Customs and the Customs Administration of the Netherlands signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on 22 November 2018 to establish a proof of concept (POC) to facilitate cargo clearance and improve supply chain security.
The authority announced in a press release on Friday (23 November) that the MOU was signed in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, by Deputy Director-General, Singapore Customs, Mr Lim Teck Leong, and Deputy General Director, Customs Administration of the Netherlands, Mr Bert Wiersema.
The signing was witnessed by President Halimah Yacob, and His Majesty King Willem-Alexander, as part of President Halimah Yacob’s State Visit to the Netherlands.
The authority said that with the inking of the MOU, Singapore Customs and the Customs Administration of the Netherlands would embark on a POC to explore enabling the exchange and re-use of trade data via a system link-up between both countries’ trade platforms to bring about greater trade facilitation.
The exchange of trade data allows both customs administrations to better perform risk management, thereby improving supply chain security, while facilitating legitimate trade, it noted.
“The signing of this MOU reinforces the commitment of both our customs administrations to maintain the security of regional and global supply chains, and to facilitate legitimate trade,” said Mr Lim.
Under this initiative, participating companies in Singapore and the Netherlands would be able to enjoy facilitation on the cargo clearance process when importing from or exporting to the other country. They could benefit from a seamless and more efficient declaration process and enjoy greater ease in doing business between Singapore and the Netherlands.
“The POC enables both customs administrations to further strengthen our close cooperation at the borders and smoothen the passage of goods, boosting bilateral trade between Singapore and the Netherlands,” said Mr Lim.
Singapore Customs and the Customs Administration of the Netherlands also signed a letter of intent (LOI) a day before on 22 November 2018 to conclude a Customs Mutual Assistance Agreement (CMAA).
According to SIngapore Customes, the CMAA, once concluded, would allow Singapore and the Netherlands to exchange information and render assistance to each other in the prevention, investigation and combating of customs offences, as well as allowing both customs administrations to share enforcement techniques and best practices that would help improve their enforcement capabilities. T
The LOI was signed by Mr Lim and Deputy Director General for Tax and Customs Policy and Legislation, Ministry of Finance of the Netherlands, Mr Jasper Wesseling.
Such cooperation will contribute to the integrity of the trading system and enhance Singapore’s reputation as a trusted trade hub, the authority added.