Asia-Pacific businesses now have increased access to information on customs laws and regulations in APEC Member Economies with the publishing of the APEC Customs 'Best Practices' Handbook.
Prepared by Hong Kong, China for the APEC Sub-Committee on Customs Procedures (SCCP), the handbook provides essential information required by businesspeople involved in international trade. This includes contact details for reaching customs officials, lists of relevant websites and details on training programs for businesspeople.
The Chair of the SCCP, Ms. Young-Ran Choi, said the handbook is an invaluable resource for businesspeople to avoid costs incurred by a lack of knowledge of procedures and regulations.
"Access to accurate information on customs regulations can mean the difference between goods making a rapid transit through or costly delays at ports," Ms. Choi said at the conclusion of the meeting Korea.
"Businesses need to be able to obtain information through websties or publications and often they need to be able to speak directly with a customs officer before they ship their goods.
"The new guide has a summary of the information resources provided by each APEC Member Economy to make importing and exporting more transparent and efficient."
Ms. Choi said the inclusion of APEC-wide customs information was part of efforts by the SCCP to implement the APEC Transparency Standards. These goals were established by APEC Leaders in 2002 as part of efforts to overcome corruption and to facilitate increased regional trade. The Transparency Standards were updated in 2003 to cover specific customs issues including the provision of information on tariffs and duties as well as details of customs contact points to receive quires relating to customs matters.
The handbook was prepared by Hong Kong, China and presented to the Second SCCP Meeting for 2005 that is taking place in Gyeongju, Korea, on September 6-9.
The handbook can be downloaded here.
Additional details on the SCCP is available at www.sccp.org
The handbook also complements the APEC Tariff Database, an Internet based resource listing tariff schedules, concessions, prohibitions and other trade related information in APEC Member Economies.