New SPCD ready soon
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN
A STRATEGIC plan to guide ASEAN member states in developing their economic activities in the region will be finalised and endorsed this week.
This was announced at the launching ceremony of the 24th ASEAN Director-General of Customs Meeting at the Royal Brunei Recreational Club yesterday.
It was announced that “all working groups” have finished reviewing the implementation of the Strategic Plans of Customs Development (SPCD) during the 2011-2015 period and have agreed on the new Strategic Plans of Customs Development for 2016-2020.
This was said by the Deputy Director General of the General Department of Vietnam Customs, Binh Cong Nguyen, on behalf of Director General Nguyen Ngoc Tuc who is the outgoing chairman of the previous meeting.
Brunei’s Royal Customs and Excise Department in a press release stated that the three-day meeting will witness the endorsement of the SCPD for the period of 2016-2020.
“By having the SPCD, each ASEAN member state will be guided with the strategies and action plans to steer the development of our economic activities in the region,” the statement read.
Brunei is the host for this year’s 24th Directors-General of Customs Meeting.
Chairing the event was Acting Controller of Customs and Excise Department, Maswadi Hj Mohsin.
The meeting yesterday was officially launched by Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Finance Eddie Dato Paduka Hj Sunny.
The permanent secretary went on to say that the ASEAN Customs Transit System (ACTS) pilot project is scheduled to commence in April 2016 as all member states have completed the signing of Protocol 7.
ASEAN on its official website stated that the system is aimed at facilitating the movement of transit goods by road within ASEAN.
ACTS is planned to be an integral component towards the ASEAN Economic Community.
“It is envisaged that this initiative will offer significant benefits including reduced transaction costs, improved delivery times of transit cargo, electronic tracking of transit cargo while expediting the implementation of ASEAN transport facilitation agreements,” the website read.
Eddie told the customs directors that ASEAN customs administration plays an important role in the integration process of transforming ASEAN into a region with free movement of goods, services, investment and free flow of capital.
“By recalling the mandate instilled by our leaders to implement the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) by 2015, it has certainly shifted the traditional roles of customs from being a revenue collector to becoming a trade facilitator (while) protecting the nations from illegal entry of unsafe goods,” he said.
He then hailed the strides that ASEAN’s Customs Directors General and officers have made.
“These efforts can be seen with the implementation of the ASEAN Agreement on Customs last November and the complete signing of Protocol 7 of the ASEAN Framework Agreement on Facilitation of Goods in Transit last February 2015,” he said.
He explained that these agreements will guide ASEAN towards free movement, support of free trade and strengthening of the economy within ASEAN to ensure effective, efficient and integrated customs procedures in the region.
“We have also seen tremendous progress with the signing of the Protocol on the Legal Framework to implement the ASEAN Single Window during the 19th ASEAN Finance Ministers Meeting in Kuala Lumpur as measures to further facilitate trading of goods within the ASEAN region,” he said.
ASEAN Single Window integrates national single windows of ASEAN countries to facilitate trade and business
“I have been duly informed that the deliverables for the ASEAN Economic Community under the purview of customs is progressing well towards completion by the end of 2015,” said the Permanent Secretary.
Despite the positive outlook, Eddie reminded them to always be mindful of whatever challenges that come their way.
“Keep the momentum going forward as it is important for all of the member states to institute a well-calibrated and holistic plan to hinder these potential challenges from derailing our mission to be one community,” he said.
The meeting gathered the ASEAN Director-General of Customs to discuss the progress of customs integration, review works of the various ASEAN customs committees and working groups and provide necessary guidance to each other towards achieving their main goals.
The meeting was attended by customs officials from ASEAN member states, ASEAN dialogue partners namely China, South Korea, Japan and organisations; World Customs Organization (WCO), US-ASEAN Business Council and the conference of Asia-Pacific Express Carriers.
The Brunei Times