By PETCHANET PRATRUANGKRAI
THE COMMERCE Ministry has drawn up a strategy to reduce rules and regulations on trade in strategic products, starting with rice.
The system will be started in September and should be fully operational by next year. The model will also be adopted for other key export products so that trade will grow strongly.
Under the measure, the ministry aims to reduce trade regulations by 83 per cent, which could cut exporters’ costs by 60 per cent and reduce the time consumed by rice-export paperwork by 20 days.
Commerce Minister Apiradi Tantraporn said her ministry would continue to apply this model to other products so that exporters would be able to save cost, time and effort.
“With this added convenience, the country’s trade should growth strongly as exporters will be encouraged to ship more at any time,” she said.
Other products that will adopt this model include sugar, rubber and frozen foods.
Under the strategy, the ministry has followed the “national single window” plan and facilitated a paperless system. It has also adjusted the export system to an electronic platform to make procedures less complicated and reduce documentation. An e-payment system has also been adopted so that exporters will be able to save time and transport costs.
Seven government agencies and three private-sector organisations will be involved in the streamlining effort. They include the Internal Trade Department along with provincial Commerce Ministry offices, the Foreign Trade Department, the Customs Department, the Agriculture Department, the Disease Control Department, the Office of the Rice Inspection Committee, surveyors, and the Board of Trade.
The government plans to reduce the 14 activities exporters now need to carry out to only four, the number of documents required from 70 to 38, and time consumption from 24 days to four. The average cost of a rice-export operation has been cut from Bt12,140 to only Bt2,076.
The ministry will also provide a “digital signature” system for each export document to help reduce the cost of transport for enterprises.