The SCCP held its last meeting of 2012 in May in Kazan, the Russian Federation. Key outcomes of the meeting include:
Supply-Chain Connectivity Framework
- The United States provided updates on the CTI-level initiatives under the Supply Chain Connectivity Framework that have a nexus to customs, such as the progress of the initiative to Advance the Action Plan for Chokepoint 1: Lack of transparency/awareness of full scope of regulatory issues affecting logistics and de-minimis capacity building.
- Chile presented a questionnaire on Chokepoint 8: Lack of Regional Cross-Border Customs-Transit Arrangements. The SCCP noted that the members are requested to answer the questionnaire by the end of June 2012.
- Japan reported the progress of the preparation for the second workshop on Single Window in 2012 and requested the SCCP members to participate in the workshop.
- The World Customs Organization (WCO) shared with the SCCP members the updated information on its work in relation to dematerialization, as well as work conducted within the Globally Networked Customs.
- Thailand informed the SCCP members of the completion of its Single Window (SW) by the end of 2012 and welcomed any interested economies to join the SW program.
- Colombia reported the new developments of its Single Window (Simultaneous Inspection of Merchandise for Imports and Logistics Modules).
Authorized Economic Operator (AEO) and Customs-Business Partnership
- Korea and the WCO reported an overview on the outcomes of the 2012 WCO AEO Global Conference.
- Hong Kong, China made a presentation on “the Hong Kong Authorized Economic Operator Program.”
- United States provided an update on the AEO Capacity Building Plan. The SCCP welcomed the US initiative to hold regional capacity building conferences on AEO.
- Colombia reported the new progresses on AEO, such as an online self-evaluation which is designed for companies to measure their level of preparation to join the program. Colombia showed its interest in making agreements of mutual recognition with other economies in the future.
- The United States provided an update on the WCO Americas and Caribbean Region Uruguay Resolution regarding promotion and implementation of AEO in the region and the Customs-Business Virtual Working Group. The SCCP noted the timeframe for the establishment of the Customs-Business Virtual Working Group. The SCCP decided that the private sector participants should be finalized by the end of June 2012 and a draft agenda for 2013 should be provided by the end of August 2012. The SCCP also noted that collaboration with the WCO Private Sector Consultative Group is important and the number of private sector participants should be limited.
- Japan made a presentation on “Measures Taken by Japan Customs for Facilitating Recovery from the Great East Japan Earthquake,” to share information and lessons with the SCCP members on its trade recovery action after the Great East Japan Earthquake.
- The United States updated the SCCP on its multiyear project to develop a mechanism to exchange primary and supplement elements of information in trade recovery scenarios and its discussion with the WCO regarding their ability to create such a mechanism.
- A representative of the Chemical Dialogue (CD) made a presentation on their interest in Single Window approach for facilitating trade of chemical goods and expressed an idea for a joint activity between the CD and the SCCP to seek for joint recommendations. The SCCP Chair concluded that the SCCP would support the initiative.
- A representative of the APEC Sub-Committee on Standards and Conformance (SCSC) reported the outcome of the Workshop on the Supply Chain Visibility and the recommendation on the APEC Implementation for Cargo Status Information Network for enhancing Supply Chain Visibility.
- The United States updated the progress of the APEC Travel Facilitation Initiative. The SCCP noted that the SCCP is requested to choose a representative for the TFI Steering Council.
- Indonesia presented an information paper on Travel Facilitation for Disaster Personnel and Personnel Equipment in Times of Disasters in the Asia-Pacific Region. The SCCP noted that this initiative will be further discussed during the next meeting of the APEC Emergency Preparedness Working Group (EPWG) in May 2012 at the sidelines of SOM2 in Kazan, Russia. Subject to the views and endorsements by its members, the EPWG will soon propose to hold a policy dialogue with the SCCP and the APEC Business Mobility Group (BMG) during SOM1 of APEC 2013.
Intellectual Property Rights
- Russia made a presentation on Russian Customs Protecting IPR, Legislation & Practice.
- The United States presented a Counterfeit Electronics Operation Proposal to conduct a second voluntary IPR mutual enforcement operation. The SCCP approved the US proposal. Some economies agreed to participate. Additional economies were encouraged to participate in the operation.
Information Technology and Risk Management
- Russia made a presentation on Information Customs Technologies and E-Document Circulation.
- Colombia reported that it is implementing a module of risk management in the single window in order to classify requests of approvals prior to the imports and exports by level of risk, reduce the time of manual revision process and increase the efficiency of the system.
In 2007 the SCCP adopted the Working towards the Implementation of Single Window within APEC Economies: Single Window Development Report and the APEC SCCP Single Window Strategic Plan . The Development Report delivered a comprehensive snapshot of the border regulatory environment and single window related activities in the APEC region. The Strategic Plan provided a framework for the development of single window systems in the APEC region.
After three years of work on this initiative (2007-2009), the SCCP endorsed the Single Window Implementation Guide in August 2009. This guide was delivered by the Single Window Working Group with the assistance of public and private sector stakeholders. Its purpose is to assist economies in the design, building and implementation of a single window system. It provides a comprehensive list of single window related components and elements, with supporting information. It also provides links to available standards which promote a common understanding of what an international trade single window is and what it can deliver. Economies using the guide will reduce the time and labour cost usually spent on research during the design and implementation phases.
In 2010 the SCCP conducted a review of the extent of implementation of single window initiatives in each member economy. This review has revealed that 13 of 21 APEC economies have developed single window systems and 5 economies have single windows systems currently under development; each economy has actively used international standards such as the UN/EDIFACT and WCO Data Model in developing its single window system which will aid in the seamless data sharing between single window systems.
Authorised Economic Operator (AEO)
In September 2009 the SCCP established an AEO Working Group to address the development of AEO programmes and tackle the divergent array of existing AEO programmes. The objective of the AEO Working Group is two-fold: 1. Work towards the establishment of AEO programs, of equal caliber, within each of the APEC economies, and 2. Encourage mutual recognition arrangements of AEO programs amongst interested economies within the Asia-Pacific region.
Under phase one of its Action Plan, in September 2010 the AEO Working Group produced an “ Authorized Economic Operator Program Compendium ” to assist in developing an AEO program by each APEC economy . Phase two activities of the Working Group will focus on Development of an AEO Best practices guideline with elements of AEO programs divided elements that are suitable for harmonization amongst economies and those that are not suitable for harmonization. The final stage of activities under the AEO Action Plan will be capacity building.
The SCCP is working with the Committee on Trade and Investment (CTI) on a new action plan, the Supply-Chain (SC) Connectivity Framework . Under the framework, eight chokepoints have been identified as impediments to trade in the APEC region; four of these are issues of concern to the SCCP:
- Chokepoint 1: Lack of transparency/awareness of the full scope of regulatory issues affecting logistics; lack of awareness and coordination among government agencies on policies affecting logistics sector; absence of single contact point or champion agency on logistics matters
- Chokepoint 4: Inefficient clearance of goods at customs; lack of coordination among border agencies, especially relating to clearance of regulated goods at border
- Chokepoint 5: Burdensome customs documentation and other procedures, including for preferential trade
- Chokepoint 8: Lack of regional cross-border customs-transit arrangements
The SCCP has agreed to work collaboratively with the CTI by undertaking a series of actions under the SCI Action Plans which have been developed to alleviate the negative impacts of these chokepoints on supply chains. The SCCP actions include work in the areas of Single Window development, Advance Rulings, Immediate Release of Consignments by Customs, Time Release Surveys, and implementation of the revised Kyoto convention.
Trade Facilitation Action Plan
The SCCP played an important role in the APEC Trade Facilitation Action Plan (TFAP) which was adopted by APEC in 2002. The TFAP's goal of achieving a reduction in trade transaction costs by five percent across the APEC region between 2002 and 2006 has been realised.
APEC's Second Trade Facilitation Action Plan (TFAP 2) was adopted in 2007 and is now nearing completion. Its goal is a further reduction in trade transaction costs by five percent in the period 2007-2010. The SCCP is working on its implementation and on the measurement of its success with the Committee on Trade and Investment (CTI).
Customs Business Dialogue
The SCCP held its annual APEC Customs-Business Dialogue (ACBD) in Tokyo, Japan on 13 September 2010. The objective of the ACBD is to foster understanding and cooperation between customs authorities and the business sector in the APEC region in order to facilitate trade. The 2010 Dialogue focused on: Customs and Business Cooperation to Secure and Facilitate Global Trade; Trade Facilitation through Utilization of ICT and Modern Technology; and, Customs and Business Cooperation for Enhancement of Border Enforcement on IPR.
APEC Customs Directors-General/Commissioners Meeting
The year 2010 is a milestone for APEC in a sense that it is when the industrialized economies committed themselves to achieve the Bogor Goals of free and open trade and investment. Baring this into mind, APEC Customs Directors- General /Commissioners Meeting was held in Tokyo, Japan on 14 September following the ACBD to evaluate 15-years-of-works of the SCCP comprehensively and discuss direction on future activities of the APEC Customs administrations at a higher level. Through the intensive discussions by the head of APEC Customs, eight priorities to be promoted through the SCCP activities were agreed and publicized as the statement of the Chair.
Syarif HIDAYAT (Mr)
Directorate-General of Customs
Ministry of Finance
Indonesian Customs representative in Tokyo
Alvaro CASTRO (Mr)