The Pakistan Single Window (PSW) has begun implementing the Lab Management System (LMS) for the computerised processing of lab test requests originated by government agencies for import/export approval.
The Pakistan Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (PCSIR) lab in Karachi and the GMO Testing Lab of the Agricultural Biotechnology Research Institute (AARI) in Faisalabad are the first laboratories to be fully integrated on the PSW platform.
Before granting the required licence, permit, certificate, or other authorization, the new service enables authorised personnel from the relevant government departments to electronically request lab testing of any imported or exported items and check the results online.
The programme provides online payment capabilities as well as case status transparency for merchants. In addition to minimising paperwork and frequent visits to labs and other government offices, the system intends to increase process transparency by providing comprehensive visibility of test reports to all relevant stakeholders.
As the leading public sector entity responsible for the digital transformation of cross-border trade and the notified operator of the Pakistan Single Window (PSW) system, PSW has successfully migrated the cross-border trade-related processes of key government departments such as the Department of Plant Protection, Animal Quarantine Department, Federal Seed Certification & Registration Department, and the Pakistan Standard & Quality Control Authority from the manual to the digital realm.
The system currently has over 57,000 active subscribers, and new modules, services, and features are always being introduced.
A statement from the office of PSW’s chief executive officer, Syed Aftab Haider, stated, “The new service is part of PSW’s mission to completely transform and digitise cross-border trade processes in Pakistan, while enhancing transparency and ensuring consistent application of laws and regulations. The LMS is meant to provide merchants and government officials with real-time visibility of the test reports and the items’ compliance status with the applicable legislation, considerably reducing the process’ time and cost. We are grateful to all of our partner agencies and the labs’ management for partnering with us on this vital endeavour.
The referral of commodities to designated labs for testing and screening is an integral aspect of customs and other regulatory agencies’ risk management processes. Other government agencies may require lab testing for reasons related to public health, food safety, phytosanitary requirements, compliance with national quality control standards, detection of radioactive materials or drugs, etc., whereas Customs may refer goods for lab testing and scientific analysis to determine/verify their HS code classification in order to apply the correct rate of duty and taxes.
The digitization of the procedure will enhance PSW’s integrated risk management system’s ability to identify possibly non-compliant traders/goods at the time of clearance.
Pakistan Single Window is a federal government programme in Pakistan. It automates and unifies cross-border trade-related procedures of Customs and other government agencies (OGAs), thereby accelerating, streamlining, and reducing the cost of international trade. Through the Pakistan Single Window, traders can submit customs declarations, permits, and other data required by many government agencies through a centralised digital platform.
In addition to the single window system, PSW debuted its Trade Information Portal in March 2022, which provides comprehensive information on import, export, and transit-related procedures, and is preparing to implement the first phase of the Port Community System in June 2023.