Time to export (days)

Definition: Time to export is the time necessary to comply with all procedures required to export goods. Time is recorded in calendar days. The time calculation for a procedure starts from the moment it is initiated and runs until it is completed. If a procedure can be accelerated for an additional cost, the fastest legal procedure is chosen. It is assumed that neither the exporter nor the importer wastes time and that each commits to completing each remaining procedure without delay. Procedures that can be completed in parallel are measured as simultaneous. The waiting time between procedures--for example, during unloading of the cargo--is included in the measure.

Description: The map below shows how Time to export (days) varies by country. The shade of the country corresponds to the magnitude of the indicator. The darker the shade, the higher the value. The country with the highest value in the world is Afghanistan, with a value of 86.00. The country with the lowest value in the world is Singapore, with a value of 6.00.

Source: World Bank, Doing Business project (http://www.doingbusiness.org/).

See also: Country ranking, Time series comparison

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Development Relevance: The Doing Business report was first published in 2003 with five indicator sets measuring business regulation in 133 economies. The report has grown into an annual publication covering 11 indicator sets and 189 economies. In these 10 years Doing Business has recorded nearly 2,000 business regulation reforms in the areas covered by the indicators and researchers have produced well over 1,000 articles in peer-reviewed journals using the data published by Doing Business - work that helps explore many of the key development questions of our time. The Doing Business indicators points to important trends in regulatory reform and identifies the regions and economies making the biggest improvements for local entrepreneurs. It highlights both the areas of business regulation that have received the most attention and those where more progress remains to be made. The report also reviews research on which regulatory reforms have worked and how. Among the highlights are smarter business regulation supports economic growth, simpler business registration promotes greater entrepreneurship and firm productivity, while lower-cost registration improves formal employment opportunities, an effective regulatory environment boosts trade performance, and sound financial market infrastructure - courts, creditor and insolvency laws, and credit and collateral registries - improves access to credit.

Limitations and Exceptions: Data on the number of days needed to export or import are from the World Bank's Doing Business surveys, which compile procedural requirements for exporting and importing a standardized cargo of goods by ocean transport from local freight forwarders, shipping lines, customs brokers, port officials, and banks. The procedural requirements for exporting and importing goods involved filling out several required documents. These documents are associated with every official procedure - from the contractual agreement between the 2 parties to the delivery of goods, and needs to be filled and submitted in a timely manner. Several assumptions about the business and traded goods are used. For the business, it is assumed that it has at least 60 employees, located in the economy's largest business city, is a private limited-liability company, is 100% domestically owned, and exports more than 10% of its sales. For the traded goods, it is assumed that the product travels in a dry-cargo, 20-foot, full container load, weighs 10 tons, and valued at $20,000. The assumptions about the product being traded are that it is not hazardous or include any military items, does not require refrigeration or any other special environment, requires only the internationally accepted safety standards, and is one of the economy's leading export or import products. Trade facilitation encompasses customs efficiency and other physical and regulatory environments where trade takes place, harmonization of standards and conformance to international regulations, and the logistics of moving goods and associated documentation through countries and ports. Though collection of trade facilitation data has improved over the last decade, data that allow meaningful evaluation, especially for developing economies, are lacking.

Statistical Concept and Methodology: The World Bank's Doing Business measures the time and cost (excluding tariffs) associated with exporting and importing a standardized cargo of goods by sea transport. The time and cost necessary to complete every official procedure for exporting and importing the goods are recorded; however, the time and cost for sea transport are not included. All documents needed by the trader to export or import the goods across the border are also recorded. For exporting goods, procedures range from packing the goods into the container at the warehouse to their departure from the port of exit. For importing goods, procedures range from the vessel's arrival at the port of entry to the cargo's delivery at the warehouse. For landlocked economies, these include procedures at the inland border post, since the port is located in the transit economy. Payment is made by letter of credit, and the time, cost and documents required for the issuance or advising of a letter of credit are taken into account. The ranking on the ease of trading across borders is the simple average of the percentile rankings on its component indicators. Local freight forwarders, shipping lines, customs brokers, port officials and banks provide information on required documents and cost as well as the time to complete each procedure. To make the data comparable across economies, several assumptions about the business and the traded goods are used. The time for exporting and importing is recorded in calendar days. The time calculation for a procedure starts from the moment it is initiated and runs until it is completed. If a procedure can be accelerated for an additional cost and is available to all trading companies, the fastest legal procedure is chosen. Fast-track procedures applying only to firms located in an export processing zone, or only to certain accredited firms under authorized economic operator programs, are not taken into account because they are not available to all trading companies. It is assumed that neither the exporter nor the importer wastes time and that each commits to completing each remaining procedure without delay. Procedures that can be completed in parallel are measured as simultaneous. But it is assumed that document preparation, inland transport, customs and other clearance, and port and terminal handling require a minimum time of 1 day each and cannot take place simultaneously. The waiting time between procedures - for example, during unloading of the cargo - is included in the measure.

Aggregation method: Unweighted average

Periodicity: Annual