Imports, exports? Do it online!

Trade ministry launches online permit application system

25 March 2021 | Business

Industrialisation and trade minister Lucia Iipumbu launched the import, export online system earlier this week.
The system, which was developed over a period of seven years, is one of the ministry’s initiatives to render efficient service and will enable traders to apply for import and export permits online at their convenience as opposed to the manual paper system that traders have been subjected to over the years.
The development of the online system was financed by the SADC trade-related facility within the trade ministry which is funded by the European Union.
Speaking at the launch, Iipumbu said the system is a milestone in government’s efforts to ensure efficient and quality service to economic operators. “Online tools have become major instruments for simplifying and automating trade procedures which are important tools for supporting paperless trade and enhancing regional and global integration.”
The minister said through this online portal, Namibia’s economic operators will benefit from a simplified, transparent, standardised and harmonised system. Moreover, the system will also create an enabling environment for ease of trading with the potential impact of improved competitiveness of doing business trading across the border.

Quick turnaround
“Similarly, it has the potential to reduce processing time, errors, cost, and duplication of efforts as well as the flexibility of economic operators to access the system online from anywhere, anytime. The tool will also enhance the benefits to be reaped from the African Continental Free Trade Area and many other trade agreements ascribed by Namibia by enhancing trade facilitation,” Iipumbu said.
With the new system, the ministry is looking at a turnaround time of between 24 to 72 hours to process permits which according to Iipumbu is a great step from the two week-one month period it took with the manual system.
“The ministry has allocated a number of staff to various categories to see to it that they process the applications timely,” Iipumbu said.

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