Sri Lanka: Public-private consultation workshop on the benefits of digitising maritime trade

On March 10th, Sri Lanka Customs Authority (SLC) and Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH hosted a private sector consultation workshop in the context of their joint project ‘Digitising Global Maritime Trade’ (DGMT). SLC is making continuous efforts to improve digital access to sea cargo information. The workshop marked a kick-off for public-private exchange on the project – more outreach events in various for a will follow in the upcoming months. It created space for the private sector to provide feedback and recommendations to ensure a smooth adaptation to new procedures for a most effective outcome.

“This workshop is a great opportunity to discuss how digital exchange of information benefits customs and the business community alike” stated the Director General of SLC in his opening remarks. The workshop brought together experts from SLC and other related government agencies, and key representatives from the industry, such as exporters and importers, shipping lines and logistics service providers.

The private sector’s feedback will ensure that the upcoming implementation of the new procedures will be commercially meaningful. Their views and recommendations provide a basis for the capacity building activities to support the onboarding process for businesses.
In the DGMT project, public and private sector partners work together to improve customs’ digital access to advance sea cargo information. The access to digital information will allow Sri Lanka Customs to process the cargo prior to arrival and departure to determine in advance which cargoes to inspect, and which to release, reducing the time and costs of maritime trade for importers and exporters.

The project is implementing a new data integration solution called ASYHUB (developed by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development), which enables seamless exchange of sea cargo data between Sri Lanka Customs and trade data providers involved in the maritime trading process, such as TradeLens.

The DGMT project is financed by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and implemented by GIZ within the framework of the develoPPP programme.