ASEAN Customs chiefs launch Joint Action Plan to facilitate cargo clearance

At the opening ceremony of the 31st ASEAN Directors-General (DGs) of Customs Meeting held in Singapore June 7, the DGs of all 10 ASEAN Member States (AMS) launched a Joint Action Plan (JAP), committing to fully implement the ASEAN Authorized Economic Operator (AEO) Mutual Recognition Arrangement (AAMRA) by 2025, based on Strategic Plan of Customs Development on AEO.

The ASEAN DGs of Customs are meeting in a hybrid format in Singapore, which took over the chairmanship of the meeting from the Philippines this June. The annual meeting enables the DGs to provide policy directions and strategic guidance on customs cooperation activities in the ASEAN region.

Lawrence Wong, Singapore’s Minister for Finance, officiated at the opening ceremony of the meeting and delivered a keynote speech. In his speech, he noted that ASEAN has taken another important step forward with the adoption of the JAP on the AAMRA, which would enable successfully validated businesses to have reduced documentary and cargo inspections across all ASEAN countries, on top of other benefits. 

Wong also highlighted two other areas of customs collaboration which will bring great benefit to ASEAN. 

He said that deepening customs collaboration with ASEAN’s major trading partners like the US, China, Japan and South Korea to further lower trade-related costs for businesses and support the development of supply chains from these countries to ASEAN. 

The other area is aligning respective customs processes to common standards which would reduce administrative costs and make the region more attractive for e-commerce. 

Photo credit: Shutterstock/ eagnarin wanvong

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