Implementation is about putting into practice everything done in previous steps. A number of perspectives and aspects must be duly considered. The description of the methodology is generic, but in principle all implementations will be different.
- Regulatory aspects: Every change in previous procedures should have a legal/regulatory basis. For instance, digital versions of paper documents must have the same legal value as the originals. Procedures for access of businesses to newly established IT-systems should be properly featured and described. Having a horizontal and comprehensive view will ensure that the regulatory environment corresponds to the trade facilitation measures implemented.
- IT-aspects: Governance and change processes for existing IT-support systems need to be carefully planned and managed, especially if a paper-based procedure is to be digitalized. Access control, support (technical and functional), fall-back procedures and continuity plans are only examples of what this could entail.
- Competence and training aspects: Any amendment, change or improvement of existing processes and procedures requires all stakeholders to adapt their behaviour. Preparing guidelines, conducting informative sessions and training are actions that raise the awareness, competence and expertise of all parties involved.
- Transitional periods: Do not ask all users, i.e. traders, to be ready for innovations simultaneously. Allow them to adapt to new procedures during the initial period of time, so making it possible for them to consider options and to fit improvements into their business plans.
- Pilot programmes: The use of pilots is often beneficial when major innovations are adopted. Involving a multi-facetted group of users ensures that all aspects and areas are covered, while avoiding unmanageable situations for the government agencies concerned. However, it is very important to inform the operational body of any business domain on how to behave when a pilot is launched, or results will be misleading.
- Requests and remarks from trade: During implementation, the end-users of trade facilitation measures, i.e.traders, will note what operates well and what causes problems. It is recommended to collect all requests for clarifications and remarks, and to consider them when improving the implemented measures as necessary.
- Assessment of risks related to implementation: Before implementation is launched, possible risks to the success of the initiative must be identified and a plan to manage such risks prepared.
If all aspects and perspectives involved are covered before and during the adoption of trade facilitation measures, a better controlled and manageable implementation will be achieved. The use of a step-by-step approach, with pilots and transitional periods, will also prevent big bang implementations from backfiring and forcing decision makers to ultimately revise their decisions. Any input from the business sector needs to be duly considered, as they are often the final users and promoters of the measures undertaken.