This week sees the launch of a new online customs transit management system in the 10-member Association of Southeast Nations (Asean), designed to accelerate trade in goods by road. The system has been developed with the support of the European Commission.
The Asean Customs Transit System (Acts) enables private companies to make a single customers transit declaration that covers the transport of goods across multiple Asean countries without the need to make repeated customs declarations or change vehicles at each border.
The online e-transit declaration can be made directly with Asean customs authorities. Companies can track the movement of their goods from loading at departure to delivery at the final destination.
Faster customs clearance at borders will help to accelerate the movement of goods, and reduce the time and expense of carrying out regional trade, which the association said it would benefit producers and consumers across the continental Asean region.
Asean member countries
Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam
“The implementation of the Asean Customs Transit System plays a vital role in facilitating the seamless movement of goods in the region,” said Dato Lim Jock Hoi, the secretary general of Asean. “I believe the system would be an excellent tool in enhancing Asean’s trade and production networks as well as establishing a more unified market for its firms and consumers.
Jock Hoi added that the system could also support post-Covid recovery to accelerate the movement of medical supplies, vaccines and personal protective (PPE) equipment within the member states.
The system is managed by a permanent Acts central management team based in the Asean Secretariat in Jakarta, Indonesia, with support from the EU-funded Arise Plus programme. Regional and national helpdesks are available (see https://acts.asean.org).
“The Acts is a remarkable achievement that is testament to the strong, dynamic and long-standing partnership between Asean and the European Union,” said Koen Doens, director general for international cooperation and development at the European Commission. “The EU is proud to have joined Asean to make the Acts a reality, providing European technical expertise and €10m since 2012, in addition to the €5m invested by our Asean partners.”