The Foreign Trade Single Window (VUCE), an electronic platform that allows procedures and import and export permits to be carried out in Cuba, started the online procedures, although it is still in the testing phase, Prensa Latina reported.
It does so eight months after its official launch, when, as reported at the time, the online registration of customers was put to the test, “with the intention that the entire foreign trade chain becomes an integrated online mechanism.”
“We built a Foreign Trade Single Window. Online procedures are starting in a testing environment,” Vivian Herrera, the general director of Foreign Trade of the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Foreign Investment (MINCEX), posted on her Twitter account.
— VIVIAN HERRERA (@islabella50) April 5, 2021
Once its three stages have been completed, whose completion date is not specified, the mechanism will allow foreign commercial actors operating on the island to simultaneously manage the necessary authorizations and payments with the entities in charge of the registries and the permits prior to the dispatch of goods, the source indicated.
The VUCE has the objective of facilitating the work of Cuban and foreign businesspeople who carry out international purchase and sale operations, for which it reduces by 50% the steps needed to register businesses.
During its launch in August 2020, the head of the MINCEX, Rodrigo Malmierca, affirmed that the “VUCE will become a very useful instrument, in accordance with the systematic efforts we make to improve the conditions of Cuba’s insertion in the international market and the competitiveness of our products.”
Malmierca then affirmed that “beyond the facilitation of foreign trade administrative processes,” the instrument will have important implications for institutional interoperability within the country and, at a later time, with similar platforms at the international level.
With funding from the European Union, the Foreign Trade Single Window was developed through a program sponsored by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development with the collaboration of the European Union.
The project was born in 2014, although it was not until April 2018 that the Computer Applications Company (Desoft) began working on the platform. Its first presentation took place at the Havana International Trade Fair (FIHAV 2018). On that occasion, it was said that the platform should be “fully operational” in December 2019.