Seamless cross-border movement of goods launched in ASEAN

Seamless cross-border movement of goods launched in ASEAN

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  • ASEAN Customs Transit System (ACTS) is a regional initiative to facilitate cross-border transit movement of goods via land that was launched Nov 2
  • It will be implemented in Cambodia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam
  • The use of a regional computerized Customs transit management system allows the customs administrations in each member state to efficiently capture and track the status and movement of goods under ACTS
  • DHL Global Forwarding Singapore (DHL) is one of the first companies to express interest in participating in this regional initiative

The ASEAN Customs Transit System (ACTS) was launched November 2 to ensure smoother cross-border transit movement of goods within the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

The ACTS is a key regional initiative to promote intra-ASEAN trade and the free flow of goods by facilitating cross-border transit movement of goods via land within the ASEAN region. It will be implemented in Cambodia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam, Singapore Customs said in a statement.

The ACTS enables goods to be transported by road under a single regime regardless of which ASEAN member state (AMS) they depart, transit and arrive at.

Specifically, traders can carry out a single transit journey across participating member states via a single truck, single customs declaration and single banker’s guarantee. The use of a regional computerized Customs transit management system allows the customs administrations in each member state to efficiently capture and track the status and movement of goods under ACTS.

The ACTS is implemented under the ASEAN Framework Agreement on the Facilitation of Goods in Transit (AFAFGIT), which was signed and ratified by all 10 member states.

AFAFGIT is a core instrument in the creation of the ASEAN Economic Community, which seeks to transform ASEAN into a region with free movement of goods, services, investment and skilled labor, and freer flow of capital.

“Under the ACTS, businesses can look forward to time savings, cost reduction and better connectivity in moving goods via land across Southeast Asia,” said Singapore Customs.

The ACTS is subject to existing border measures imposed by respective countries during the current COVID-19 pandemic.

“In the current global trade environment that is increasingly uncertain, it is important that ASEAN presses on in its economic integration to unlock the region’s economic potential so that ASEAN remains resilient and future-ready,” said  Lee Boon Chong, senior assistant director-general (Trade) of Singapore Customs and chairman of the ASEAN Customs Procedures and Trade Facilitation Working Group’s Sub-Working Group on ACTS.

“The launch of ACTS reflects ASEAN’s determination to simplify customs procedures and strengthen supply chain connectivity, despite the COVID-19 pandemic. ACTS will be of practical benefit to businesses by facilitating the smoother cross-border transit movement of goods,” said Alpana Roy, director, ASEAN Division, Ministry of Trade and Industry and Singapore’s Senior Economic Official to ASEAN.

DHL Global Forwarding Singapore (DHL) is one of the first companies to express interest in participating in this regional initiative. As part of the pilot phase, DHL successfully carried out the cross-border transit operations from Singapore to Thailand, through Malaysia, on October 23 and 28, 2020.

Photo by Rodrigo Abreu on Unsplash

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