30 November 2020 –
KUALA LUMPUR, ASEAN member states are speeding up their economic integration by mitigating intra-Asian trade challenges and accelerating seamless trade in goods by roads with the new ASEAN Customs Transit System (ACTS).
The ACTS was developed to streamline cross-border customs processes with the aim of accelerating land transit movements and reducing the time and expense of carrying out regional trade in goods.
The broader objective is to reduce intra-ASEAN trading challenges and enable companies to benefit more from the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) and the free movement of goods across the ASEAN region.
The 37th ASEAN Summit was held earlier this month and the ACTS live operation, which was implemented on Nov 2, signalled a clear illustration of ASEAN’s commitment.
Royal Malaysian Customs Department senior assistant director Dr Ramlah Mukhtar said pilot tests were taken between January and October 2020 to evaluate how components under the ACTS can be utilised by Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.
“Myanmar will join the system in 2021 and we foresee Brunei, the Philippines and Indonesia joining later and their participation will be included in the enhancement of the ACTS application and system,” she said during a virtual press conference of the official launch of ACTS here today.
ASEAN Federation Forwarders Associations (AFFA) executive director Iman Ghandi said ACTS was developed to streamline cross-border Customs processes, aimed at accelerating transit movements, and reducing the time and expense of carrying out regional trade in goods.
“The ASEAN Customs Transit System is simplifying the movement of goods across the region, making it 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 the need to make repeated Customs declarations or change vehicles at each border. It will also reduce the inventory costs of producers,” he added.
The system is managed by a permanent ACTS Central Management Team based in the ASEAN Secretariat in Jakarta, with support from the European Union-funded ARISE Plus programme.
ARISE Plus has provided extensive ACTS training for stakeholders in the public and private sectors including Customs authorities, government transport agencies, freight forwarders, transporters, banks and insurance companies.