The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) launched on November 30 an online system that aims to reduce intra-ASEAN trading challenges, enable companies to benefit fully from the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC), and promote free movement of goods across the region.
The ASEAN Customs Transit System (ACTS) allows businesses to lodge electronic-transit (e-transit) declarations directly with ASEAN Customs authorities and track movement of goods from loading at departure to delivery at the final destination.
The system was created to realize the ASEAN economic ministers’ twin goals set in 2017 to reduce trade transaction costs by 10% by 2020 and double intra-ASEAN trade between 2017 and 2025.
ASEAN secretary-general Dato Lim Jock Hoi in a statement said the implementation of ACTS will facilitate seamless movement of goods in the region, enhance ASEAN’s trade and production networks, and establish a more unified market for firms and consumers.
“The ACTS could also support post COVID recovery to accelerate the transit movement of medical supplies, vaccines and Personal Protective Equipment within the Member States,” he added.
ACTS is seen to simplify the movement of goods across the region, making their transport more efficient and cost-effective.
Under ACTS, the private sector can make a single Customs transit declaration that covers the transport of goods across multiple ASEAN countries, without needing to make repeated Customs declarations or change vehicles at each border.
Special arrangements allow reliable traders to load their goods at their own premises in the country of departure, and deliver the goods to their own premises at destination.
Faster Customs clearance at borders helps accelerate transit movements, and reduces the time and expense of carrying out regional trade in goods, to the benefit of producers and consumers across the continental ASEAN region.
The system is managed by a permanent ACTS Central Management Team based in the ASEAN Secretariat in Jakarta, Indonesia, with technical and financial support from the European Union (EU)-funded ASEAN Regional Integration Support by the EU (ARISE) Plus program.
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