A. General Information
The ASEAN Customs Transit System (ACTS)
B. Lessons Learned
to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of moving goods across land based transport routes;
to improve both the prevention and detection of fraud; and
to reduce transaction costs and transit operation times.
Facilitate trade in ASEAN
The ASEAN Framework Agreement on Facilitation of Goods in Transit (AFAFGIT - Ha Noi, 1998) is a core instrument for the realization of these objectives and provides for nine high level Protocols that set out generic standards to be put into place for the implementation of an international transit system.
Customs transit is one of the cornerstones of ASEAN integration and of vital interest to ASEAN businesses. It enables goods to move more freely and facilitates Customs clearance formalities from point of departure through transit and ending at point of destination. It does so by temporarily suspending duties and taxes that are applicable to goods at import into the region, or between the ASEAN Member States (AMS).
The ACTS supports the realisationrealization of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) 2025 vision in making ASEAN a highly integrated and cohesive economy. It will facilitate the seamless movement of goods to enhance ASEAN’s trade and production networks as well as establishing a more unified market for its firms and consumers. ACTS will be a catalyst for greater people to people, institutional and infrastructure connectivity.
• A single electronic goods declaration from departure
through transit to destination;
• A single guarantee valid for the entire journey;
• A secure and efficient system;
• Full end-to-end computerization of operations;
• Proven operators authorised to use simplified procedures;
• Complete Customs to Customs and Customs to
Business network and
• Free movement for permitted trucks and drivers.
Guided by the AFAFGIT and its protocols, the ASEAN Customs Transit System (ACTS) is a computerized Customs transit management system available to operators who move goods across borders without paying the required duties and taxes otherwise due when the goods enter (or leave) the country thus requiring only one (final) Customs formality. It offers an administratively simple and cost advantageous procedure to carry goods across Customs territories outside the normal import and export Customs regimes.
The ACTS facilitates trade by allowing traders to transport their goods freely between the participating countries. This means that a truck can travel from its point of loading (Departure) to its destination in a different country with fewer obstacles and delays. There is no need for a different Customs declaration at each border, and no need to transfer the goods to a different truck in each country. The duties and taxes at risk are covered by a single guarantee for all the countries involved in the transit operation. All the related information is transmitted through the network from the office of departure to the transit offices and the office of destination. To facilitate the movement of goods the Transport Authorities of AMS have agreed to issue 500 licenses to qualifying vehicles to operate across borders. However, participating AMS have agreed to issue up to 100 licenses for the live run phase. The implementation of the ACTS will be coordinated by the Customs Authorities and the Land Transport authorities of participating AMS.
Customs Transit Declaration and acknowledgement of arrival
Technical assistance from ASEAN Regional Integration Support from the EU (ARISE+) is ongoing for: (i) capacity building of participating Member States and ASEAN Secretariat; (ii) the ACTS system development and updates; and (iii) outreach programme for related stakeholders.
Domestically, Customs Authorities of the Participating AMS need to work and coordinate with other agencies/entities on the project timeline; and
Complexity involved for AMS to sign and fully ratify the relevant Protocols under the ASEAN Framework Agreement on Facilitation of Goods in Transit (AFAFGIT) which forms the legal basis for the implementation of the ACTS.
The need for cooperation between Customs Authorities, Government transport agencies and private sector operatives
The development of national-level expertise and skills to ensure sustainability of the project, especially in IT support, training functions and Customs procedural reform
The need for high-level commitment from Government to ensure smooth implementation of the ACTS system and associated procedures
Reduction in time and costs of regional transit movements of goods by road under Customs duty suspension
Better control of the movement of trucks by electronic logging of trucks at departure, transit borders and destination
Simplified procedures available for Authorized Transit Traders, for example the permission to load and unload at their own premises subject to authorization by Customs Authorities
Technical assistance from ASEAN Regional Integration Support from the EU (ARISE+) is ongoing for:
(i) capacity building of participating Member States and ASEAN Secretariat;
(ii) the ACTS system development and updates and
(iii) outreach programme for related stakeholders.
Once the ACTS has been rolled out to the North-South (Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand) and East-West (Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, and Viet Nam) corridors, the remaining AMS (Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, and the Philippines) would be considered to join the ACTS subject to business needs.