Automation of processes, enhancement of cargo clearance examination, and strengthening of institutional and individual capabilities in the areas of intelligence and enforcement are among the projects being undertaken by the Bureau of Customs (BOC) as it prepares to join this year the live operations of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Single Window (ASW) system.
“The enhancements required to resolve the end-to-end testing issues are about to be completed. Domestic preparations to meet the targets are also being done by BOC together with other agencies,” said Customs commissioner Rey Leonardo B. Guerrero in a message during the recent holding of the second round of discussions of the ASW Technical Working Group in Manila.
The four-day meeting hosted by BOC’s External Affairs Office was participated in by delegates of the ASEAN member states, members of the Philippine delegation from other government agencies, and representatives from the USAID-Inclusive Growth in ASEAN through Innovation, Trade and E-Commerce.
Guerrero also reported that BOC is simultaneously coordinating with the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Health on the exchange of additional cross-border electronic trade documents using the ASW.
BOC has also prepared an action plan to serve as a framework for its commitment and priorities.
“All these we will strive to put into action and we welcome all support and assistance for us to achieve our objective to be at par with our fellow member-states who are now part of or are ready to join the ASW live operation,” Guerrero stated.
The ASW is a regional initiative that aims to speed up cargo clearance and promote economic integration by enabling the electronic exchange of border documents among the ASEAN’s 10 member states.
TradeNet, the Philippine government’s digital trading platform that aims to reduce the processing time and number of transactions for import and export clearances, will serve as the country’s National Single Window, a prerequisite to linking to the ASW.
Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam are already exchanging electronic certificates of origin through the ASW. — www.portcalls.com