Towards Seamless Trade Facilitation in ASEAN Baseline Study
The Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA), together with the ASEAN Trade Facilitation Joint Consultative Committee (ATFJCC), has developed an ASEAN-specific trade facilitation indicator called the ASEAN Seamless Trade Facilitation Indicators (ASTFI). The ASTFI is based on a survey of major trade-related government agencies of each ASEAN Member State. It includes measures on transparency and engagement with the private sector, the core trade facilitation measures of clearance and release formalities, as well as export and import formalities and coordination, and measures for transit, transport, and e-commerce facilitations. A report on the ASTFI Baseline Study was submitted to the ATFJCC in July 2018.
This public version of the report provides the status and progress of the trade facilitation environment in ASEAN and in ASEAN Member States, highlighting trade facilitation efforts and best practices in ASEAN, as well as in each ASEAN Member State as of 2018. The finding is that, by 2018, ASEAN Member States had done well in transparency and information on laws, regulations, and procedures, as well as in components related to communication with and active engagement with the private sector. Under these components, ASEAN Member States had established informative and user-friendly websites containing customs and trade-related laws and regulations. Best practices by leading ASEAN Member States in the region with respect to the engagement between the government and the private sector were also highlighted and these serve as benchmarks for other ASEAN Member States. Moderate progress was seen in the release and clearance formalities component, cross-border coordination and transit facilitation, and transport facilitation where ASEAN transport-related protocols had yet to be implemented.
Much remained to be done in many of the ASEAN Member States and in the region to move towards a seamless trade facilitation environment, but progress had been made. A follow-up ASTFI survey, being conducted in 2020 and 2021, will assess the progress in trade facilitation since the 2018 baseline and the attendant improvement in the trading environment in ASEAN.