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Singapore Customs launches electronic Bankers' Guarantee programme

SINGAPORE Customs has launched a comprehensive electronic banker's guarantee (eBG) programme on the Networked Trade Platform (NTP) to facilitate smoother and more seamless transactions, it said in a statement on Wednesday.

"Banks and traders can now experience a fully paperless process in the banker's guarantee (BG) process, including lodgement, claims and discharge of the BG," Singapore Customs said.

The eBG programme, a result of a collaboration between Singapore Customs and financial institutions, has been piloted since March. To date, BNP Paribas, DBS Bank, OCBC Bank, SMBC and UOB have signed up for the programme.

Participating banks can lodge or extend an eBG with Singapore Customs by sending structured data digitally via the NTP. Singapore Customs said: "This reduces the transit time to almost zero, with a processing lead time of one day, thereby improving the efficiency of the BG lodgement process."

The eBG programme guarantees data authenticity from source and removes the need for the issuance and delivery of paper BGs by the participating banks to Singapore Customs.

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During the pilot between March and last month, the eBG programme accounted for about 65 per cent of the BGs issued by the participating banks to the Singapore Customs. Since the launch of the comprehensive eBG programme on Nov 2, all BGs issued by participating banks with Singapore Customs as the beneficiary were eBGs, Singapore Customs said.

Choo Wai Yee, director of the NTP Office, said: "The eBG programme has seen a high conversion rate from existing paper BG to electronic BG since we launched the comprehensive eBG programme on Nov 2.

"We are confident that this eBG programme will enable banks and traders to reap the full efficiency, time and cost savings and increased productivity through the digitalisation of the BG process."

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