Request for services – Baseline and end-state consultant – Cambodia

The Alliance is looking for an international expert to carry out baseline and end-state study for its project in Cambodia.

Request for services – Baseline and end-state consultant – Cambodia
Global Alliance for Trade Facilitation/Swisscontact


Background information

The Global Alliance for Trade Facilitation (the Alliance) is a public-private partnership for trade-led growth, supporting governments in developing and least-developed countries in implementing the World Trade Organization’s Trade Facilitation Agreement. Alliance projects cut through red tape and end costly delays at borders by bringing together governments and businesses of all sizes as equal partners to deliver targeted trade reforms.  

The Alliance is led by the Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE), the International Chamber of Commerce, and the World Economic Forum, in cooperation with Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ). It is funded by the governments of the United States, Canada, Germany, Denmark, and Australia.

The Alliance, through Swisscontact, will be implementing a project to improve small package e-Trade for SMEs in Cambodia. The project will be implemented in collaboration with the General Department of Customs and Excise (GDCE), Ministry of Economy and Finance, Cambodia. The overall objective of the SeT4SME project is to support Cambodia for an improved trade performance and inclusive growth in the country through enhancing trade facilitation implementation with improved transparency in trade practices and reduced time and cost of cross-border e-trade. The main collaborators are Cambodia Post, Cambodia Women Entrepreneurs Association (CWEA), United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), Universal Postal Union (UPU), Ministry of Commerce (MOC) and selected other private entities. The project will support in progress of Cambodia’s commitment under World Trade Organization’s Trade Facilitation Agreement (WTO TFA), specifically Art. 7.1 on Pre-Arrival Processing and Art. 8.2 on Border Agency Cooperation – both of which are under Category C which implies the need for technical assistance. It also contributes to further enhancing Risk Management and the availability of information through the internet which are currently Category A measures.

The project’s specific objective is two folds; (1) contribute to Cambodia’s undertaking of digital trade facilitation through development and deployment of Electronic Advance Data (EAD); and (2) strengthen Cambodia’s cross-border e-Trade environment for SMEs, by establishing an e-trade one-stop service portal (hereafter referred to as “e-trade portal”) and helping Cambodia’s SMEs to take full advantage of an improved customs clearance process of postal consignment.

The project entails two technical workstreams:

Workstream 1: Institutional Capacity Support for EAD Implementation. The objective is to develop a fully operational EAD by interfacing and integration of GDCE’s ASYCUDA and Cambodia Post’s Customs Declaration System (CDS). The workstream features complementary interventions such as awareness-raising, capacity development, and PR support, etc. before and after the deployment of EAD. This workstream also envisages the coordination and capacity development support to the Cambodia Post for expanding strategic partnerships with other operators to enhance its mail and logistics capacity for the small package delivery.

Workstream 2: e-Trade Portal Development and Promotion. The objective is to enhance Cambodian SMEs’ presence
online and their engagement in cross-border e-trade, particularly the exports of their products in small packages, taking full advantage of the enhanced postal logistic capacity and expedited customs clearance procedures of postal items supported under Workstream 1. It also aims to create ‘champions’ and ‘early adopters’ of cross-border e-commerce among SMEs through collaborative activities with SME associations and establish an integrated e-Trade Portal to provide trade-related information in user-friendly and interactive formats alongside a wide-range of e-trade service packages to promote small package exports by Cambodian SMEs.

Assignment and Objectives
The planned assignment is part of Workstream 1, which aims to assist the GDCE and Cambodia Post in conducting
baseline and end-state study of the EAD implementation.

The Cambodia Trade Integration Strategy Update (2019-2023) has given trade facilitation reform priorities. Within the cross-border trade facilitation is the adoption of modern ICT to trade-related customs processes and postal services. As an illustration, GDCE introduced the ASYCUDA in 2008 and now uses it at all ports and checkpoints to facilitate export, import, and goods in transit. Cambodia Post started using the CDS since 2019.

To facilitate trade, streamlining the import and export processes by GDCE through advanced sharing of shipment information electronically is critical. This means allowing customs sufficient time to process the data of the import shipments against risk selection criteria before their arrival and enabling them to provide pre-departure advice about the action to be taken with respect to any given export item. However, EAD, or the exchanging of standardized postal goods declaration information between the ASYCUDA and CDS, is currently not available. Theoretically ASYCUDA allows the submission of customs declarations data prior to the arrival, however this and other related important features are not installed or activated on ASYCUDA. While the CDS, a system developed by the UPU Postal Technology Centre for its member postal operators including Cambodia, can capture declaration data of the postal shipments, the system is not linked to GDCE ASYCUDA. The customs declaration data and customs’ response on the declared shipments is currently shared on paper between the Post and customs.

The lack of EAD also means that the process of capturing of the customs declaration data will be inefficient, it will be a challenge in progressing Cambodia’s commitments under Art. 7.1 on the Pre-Arrival Processing and Art. 7.4 on Risk Management of the WTO TFA. For the government, the risk to losing customs revenue looms large when an advanced and effective risk management system is missing.

With the rapid increase of cross-border e-commerce and increasing pressure to comply with the new rules and
regulations of the trading partner countries on EAD, the Cambodian government has expressed a strong commitment to develop and implement the EAD interface, connecting ASYCUDA and CDS. This is materialised through the implementation of the project, under the support of the Alliance and undertaken by Swisscontact.

Assignment and Objectives
Against this context, the objective of this assignment is to engage an international expert to carry out baseline and endstate study of the EAD implementation. The baseline study aims to analyse the status quo and prepare for a successful implementation of pre-arrival and predeparture for the postal shipments in Cambodia with the development and deployment of EAD interface. The baseline findings will also inform the capacity development response and monitoring framework. The end-state assessment toward the conclusion of SeT4SME will track the benefits and improvements of the EAD implementation, producing findings and recommendation for future priories and implementation. The assignment also involves the consultant leading technical discussion at a validation workshop where results of the assessment are presented to the GDCE and the Post and private sector stakeholders.

Output 1: Baseline Assessment; Proposed Time Frame: July 2021 – October 2021

1. Assessment of Pre-arrival / Pre-departure baseline for postal shipments
2. Documentation of the analytical findings of baseline assessment in the form of Situation Assessment Report

Output 2: End-state Assessment; Proposed Time Frame: September 2022 – December 2022

3. Assessment of Pre-arrival / Pre-departure end-state for postal shipments toward the conclusion of the project
4. Drafting of the findings and recommendations in form of a EAD End-state Assessment Report including an
actionable proposal on addressing the identified bottlenecks regarding future priories and implementation of
5. Validation of the assessment report with GDCE and the Post and private sector stakeholders to validate the
findings and recommendations, invite further feedback, discuss next steps to be taken on particular issues, and
inspire future technical cooperation for support in this regard. The input collected at the workshop will be
incorporated into the Final EAD End-state Assessment Report.

Details on how these work results will be produced shall be elaborated by the international expert as part of the
submitted technical proposal. A proposal of 33 expert days for the assignment shall be used as a basis of calculation
for the financial offer. The international expert will work in close coordination and cooperation with GDCE, Cambodia Post, UNCTAD, UPU, and Swisscontact team to implement this assignment.

Due to continued travel restrictions because of COVID-19, the assignment is planned as a completely virtual exercise.
Should travel to Cambodia become possible during the assignment, the contract would provide the option to include
up to 5 in-country days instead of home country days, and the travel costs would be compensated (incl. per diems).

Duration and deliverables
The timeframe for the contract is from 19 July 2021 – 30 December 2022 with the following deliverables due by the
indicative deadlines:

Deliverables Indicative deadlines
Under Output 1: Baseline Assessment
• Finalized Situation Assessment Report
• 30 September 2021
Under Output 2: End-state Assessment
• Drafted EAD End-state Assessment Report
• Presentation at validation workshop with key EAD
• Finalized EAD End-state Assessment Report
• 26 November 2022
• 03 December 2022• 10 December 2022


  • Education: Master’s (or equivalent) in Political Science, Economics, International Trade, Customs, Trade Facilitation, or related field
  • Language: professional proficiency in English (reading, writing, speaking, listening)
  • General professional experience: 10 years of work experience in international trade, trade facilitation, and/or
    customs administration
  • Specific professional experience: 15 years of work experience at the national or international level in the context of digital trade facilitation, with proven record of hands-on experience in the baseline and end-state assessment of Pre-arrival Processing / Pre-departure Processing implementation
  • Leadership/management experience: 10 years of work experience as lead advisor/expert in trade- or customs automation assignments
  • Regional experience: Good understanding of political and economic context of ASEAN region / Cambodia per
    previous assignments
  • Development Cooperation (DC) experience: Prior experience in donor-funded assignments

Applications (in English) should be directed to Swisscontact until 14 July 2021. Interested applicants are requested to submit a proposal of 33 expert days for the assignment shall be used as a basis of calculation for the financial offer, work plan, CVs with roles and responsibilities and cover letter detailing the consultant’s suitability for the assignment.

Application(s) should be directed to: