16 April 2019
LAOS: Online Export-Import Licence Processing Set to be Made Mandatory
The manual processing of import/export licences as well as permits for the transit/import of goods for re-export is to be phased out. The move is in line with a recent directive from the Department of Import and Export (DIMEX) designed to promote the wider use of the online Lao National Single Window (LNSW) for the issuance of all such permits, as well as for tracking all related customs clearance procedures.
At present, the online LNSW licence processing and customs clearance procedures are only available with regard to vehicles imported via the Laos-Thai Friendship Bridge on the border with Thailand’s Nong Khai province. While a formal date for the LNSW to cover all goods has yet to be announced, it is expected that the system will initially be extended to cover all vehicle imports as well as the trading of rough diamonds, liquefied petroleum gas, fuel and lubricants.
In preparation for the wider use of the LNSW, the Ministry of Industry and Commerce (MOIC) has now advised companies to register as users at the earliest opportunity. Prior to registering though, businesses must participate in a training workshop organised by the MOIC and then apply for the requisite passwords. All such applications must be accompanied by the necessary supporting documents, including an Enterprise Registration Certificate.
Overall, the use of the LNSW is being promoted as part of a government bid to expedite export/import licence processing as well as to streamline customs procedures. The LNSW will also be fully integrated with the ASEAN Single Window (ASW) electronic data sharing system, facilitating expedited cargo clearance and the electronic exchange of data and import/export documentation between all participating ASEAN members.