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Trade Facilitation in the ASEAN Economic Community

By Christopher Findlay


Trade facilitation refers to the reduction of costs in the trading system. Significant cost reductions are possible, but policy reform and international cooperation are required to capture those gains. ASEAN has a key role to play in that work. Suggestions for the ASEAN scorecard are to reinforce or add commitments to, and then monitor the implementation of (a) National Single Windows as a prerequisite to the ASEAN Single Window, (b) a web-based databank of trade regulations that is regularly updated, (c) streamlined and harmonized procedures, starting with the Customs declaration (or ‘SAD’) form, and (d) mutually recognized technical standards. In terms of performance measures it is recommended to (1) have ASEAN customs authorities report regularly and in a comparable manner on clearance time through customs, (2) maintain and report updates of a logistics restrictiveness index for all countries in each year which has been developed in this project, and (3) recalculate adjusted cif/fob ratios as measures of trade costs, using the methodology developed in this project.

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