Computer-Assisted E-Customs Transactions: Proposing a System to Support Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises in Electronically Declaring International Exports
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E-government aims to ease administrative processes based on an electronic handling. While larger enterprises can often benefit from electronically integrated governmental transaction services, small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) regularly face certain obstacles. This can for instance be observed in the context of e-customs transactions. According to a United Nations study, an inefficient customs clearance is responsible for 7% of international trade costs. Hence, governments across the world aimed to reduce administrative burdens by introducing electronic customs systems. The paper at hand examines existing approaches to electronically declare exports to e-customs systems focusing the German ATLAS system. Based on an evaluation regarding the appropriateness of existing approaches from the perspective of SME, the paper concludes that none of them sufficiently meets their specific requirements. To tackle this status-quo, the paper presents the concept of computer-assisted e-customs transactions as well as the EXPORT system, which is a prototypical implementation of the proposed concept.