Iceland will now electronically allocate tariff quotas in a move which is set to modernise the fishing industry there
Tariff quotas will henceforth be allocated electronically says the Icelandic Department for Fisheries.
The aim is to simplify administration and make it digital for the benefit of the ministry, institutions and not least the business community. The web system will speed up processes, increase accessibility and security of data and greatly simplify the allocation process. Kristján Þór Júlíusson, Minister of Fisheries and Agriculture, explained the matter at a government meeting this morning.
Kristján Þór Júlíusson, Minister of Fisheries and Agriculture
“The electronic allocation of tariff quotas will revolutionize the current implementation of this allocation, for the benefit of all involved. There will be a lot of efficiency within the ministry, but it is roughly estimated that about ten working weeks will be saved per year in total, in addition to which it will simplify the application and bidding process for applicants. In my mind, this is part of reducing the bank and reducing paperwork.”
The project can be traced to the proposals of a working group, appointed by the Minister of Fisheries and Agriculture in 2018, on the allocation of tariff quotas. The system will be taken into use this summer on the website tollkvoti.is and will be presented to relevant parties in the business community in the coming weeks.
Tariff quotas and the current allocation process
The Minister of Fisheries and Agriculture allocates tariff quotas up to ten times a year on the basis of current free trade and trade agreements. The tariff quotas allow the import of various agricultural products without tariffs or at lower tariffs. The process of each allocation takes about four to six weeks. The current process is extensive and time-consuming for both the business community and the ministry’s employees. This involves a lot of paperwork, archiving, communication with the bidder, calculations and various necessary review of data and calculations at all levels. In the case of closed tenders, it has also been necessary for companies to come forward with tenders in closed envelopes and collect their allocation letters.
The new web system will greatly simplify the entire allocation process and increase efficiency. Users of the service log in via electronic ID and can see all planned allocations in a simple way. The web system also largely handles communication between the ministry and users, for example when the distribution is starting, can request tenders or notify as soon as the results of the tender are available. It will also be possible to monitor the status of each allocation process and users will have access to information about their previous offers and applications. The web system takes care of calculations and prepares documents for the ministry’s case file. The strictest safety requirements have been followed in the construction of the system and the work has been carried out carefully, as this is sensitive business information.
Opportunities for further development
The tax is also working on electronic registration of the utilization of tariff quotas, and it is under consideration to connect these two systems with even greater automation. Such a connection offers the possibility to monitor the utilization of tariff quotas in real time. This has long been called for, especially when difficulties arise during, for example, the coronary virus epidemic, product shortages or the operational difficulties of the agricultural sector. Today, the arrangements for registering the utilization of tariff quotas are such that utilization is registered manually on the back of an allotment letter. The implementation of this digital administration is considered to reduce the risk of errors in applications, bidding and calculations. In addition, the implementation will offer greater flexibility regarding tariff quota allocations than before, such as by shortening processes, allocating smaller quantities at a time, more often over the year,
The digital approach will also create much better data that can be used to prepare various useful information on the agricultural dashboard and to better monitor food security in the country.