Integrated Border Systems for the Organisation of the Eastern Caribbean States (OECS)
02, May, 2023
The operationalisation of an enhanced border system is the aim of the “Establishment of Integrated Border Systems Project.” The project will create a maritime single window for use in the OECS – Antigua and Barbuda, the Commonwealth of Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, St Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia and St Vincent and the Grenadines. A Maritime Single Window (MSW) is a digital platform where relevant information regarding ships, passengers and cargo is stored and available to all appropriate personnel and agencies. The main function of the MSW is to provide stakeholders with a single electronic portal for completion of multiple documentation in relation to vessels, cargo and passengers which are required by the relevant border agencies. It will consolidate existing and new procedural requirements across all relevant border agencies for the entry and exit of cargo ships, cruise liners, ferries, etc. into the OECS – as well as integrate existing arrangements for advanced passenger and cargo information and other complementary structures – in a single portal, accessible to the various stakeholders involved in maritime transportation, logistics and border control operations.
The improved border system will benefit OECS Member States by introducing technology to automate and integrate maritime and port operations via one solution. Maritime and port stakeholders have advocated for regional responses to improve inter-agency coordination, facilitate virtual service delivery, reduce costs and increase productivity. This project responds to those needs. It will simplify procedures at the borders, enabling more efficient and predictable entry and exit of vessels into the OECS region, as well as increasing the security of cargo and passengers on board. This will in turn facilitate faster release and clearance of goods and people to circulate freely within the single economic space in an effort to enhance trade and provide better service and access to businesses.
The project, which commenced in December 2020 will span a twelve-month implementation period. It will result in:
- An upgraded Advance Passenger Information portal to facilitate the capture of additional information which would also be required for usage in the maritime single window (an electronic portal used by border agencies to process goods and cargo);
- An integrated cargo and passenger management system accessible across the geographically dispersed Member States of the OECS;
- Customs authorities outfitted with the Advance Passenger Information System portal;
- Increased regional capacity to assess risk factors in relation to cargo operations;
- An enhanced risk management portal available to border protection personnel; and
- Standardised operating procedures for risk management.
The new and upgraded resources will support mandatory processes at air and seaports and further integrate trade and security related transactions in the OECS and wider CARICOM. The Maritime Single Window will build on existing applications for advanced examination of cargo and passenger information under the purview of the implementing agency CARICOM IMPACS.
EPA And CSME Standby Facility
The Establishment of Integrated Border Systems for the Organisation of the Eastern Caribbean States Project is the first project approved by the EPA and CSME Standby Facility Steering Committee and co-financed by the Caribbean Development Bank’s (CDB) Special Development Fund. The EPA and CSME Standby Facility is a EUR 8.75 million programme financed by the European Development Fund (EDF) being 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.
Total grant: USD650,470