In a significant development, Pakistan Single Window (PSW) has successfully integrated the Marine Fisheries Department (MFD) and Mercantile Marine Department (MMD) in collaboration with the Ministry of Maritime Affairs. This integration aims to streamline trade processes and enhance efficiency by digitizing the internal workings of both departments.
The MFD is responsible for regulating the export of fish and fishery products in Pakistan, while the MMD oversees the export of second-hand/used passenger and cargo ships, oil tankers, liquid cargo carriers, and fishing trawlers. Previously, both departments relied on manual and paper-based systems, which were prone to fraud, forgery, and time-consuming procedures.
This integration holds particular significance as seafood is Pakistan’s fifth most valuable export commodity. According to the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics, the country exported 196,785 metric tons of seafood worth $456 million from July to May of the current financial year, reflecting a 17% growth in export receipts.
Efficient supply chain management, safety, and reliability are crucial factors in attracting foreign buyers and boosting exports. Digitizing cross-border trade procedures is a vital step towards improving supply chain efficiency and safety, ultimately contributing to the national economy and foreign exchange earnings.
The CEO of PSW expressed the importance of integrating the Marine Fisheries and Mercantile Marine Department, stating, “We recognize the significance of this sector for facilitating and enhancing Pakistan’s cross-border trade, particularly exports. This integration is expected to reduce time and costs associated with trade while modernizing and reforming the two departments in line with the Ministry’s vision.”
Following the integration, the phased implementation of the Port Community System, designed by PSW in consultation with maritime stakeholders and international experts, will be initiated. The integration ensures fully harmonized and user-friendly interfaces for importers, exporters, and departmental staff, aligning with the already integrated regulatory departments.
Furthermore, the integration promotes a standardized data set, requiring importers and exporters to provide information only once for Customs and all regulatory departments. Previously provided relevant data will be made available, eliminating the need for redundant submissions.
This collaboration between PSW, the Ministry of Maritime Affairs, and the integrated departments marks a significant milestone in enhancing trade facilitation, modernizing operations, and promoting a more efficient and secure trade environment for Pakistan’s maritime sector.