ASEAN customs experienced a significant changes after the Directorate General of Customs and Excise of Indonesia involving the private sector in the annual meeting of the Director General of ASEAN Customs to explore the economic development of the region. Now, the wheel of the economy of ASEAN Countries is also determined by ASEAN Customs itself. Then, what is the benefit of the meeting for Indonesia, ASEAN and the world?
The 26th ASEAN Directors-General of Customs Meeting has just been organized at Nusa Dua, Bali, on May 16-18, 2017. Indonesia hosted the annual ASEAN Directors General of Customs Meeting and also has a role as the chairman of the meeting as well as the chairman of ASEAN Customs for the next year. The highest forum in the field of customs in ASEAN discusses various customs strategic in order to support the realization of the ASEAN Economic Community (MEA). The meeting also provides directions and decisions for customs cooperation forums under it, namely: Coordinating Committee on Customs (CCC); Customs Enforcement and Compliance Working Group (CECWG); Customs Capacity Building Working Group (WG CCB), as well as Customs Procedures and Trade Facilitation Working Group (WG CPTF) in charge of Sub-Working Group on ASEAN Customs Transit System (SWG ACTS) and the ASEAN Harmonized Tariff Nomenclature Task Force (TF AHTN).
The meeting is attended by Customs leaders from ten ASEAN member countries and the ASEAN Secretariat. China, Japan, Korea, and Australian are also Indonesia Wants ASEAN Customs to be strong on All Sectors the follow-up from ASEAN Directors-General of Customs Meeting 2017 participating in this meeting. The meeting is also supported by the World Customs Organization (WCO) or the world-based customs organization headquartered in Belgium. There is also a consultation session for the representatives of private sector from the US-ASEAN Business Council (US-ABC), EU-ABC, as well as the private sector from the host country, Indonesia. On this occasion private sector Indonesia is represented by the Association of Priority-Line Entrepreneur (APJP).
All the participants were discussing various strategic steps which are the development plan that has been declared in ASEAN. Strategic steps are used in promoting trade and investment which is also the initiatives of Indonesia Customs namely;
- The proposal if the ASEAN Directors General of Customs meeting can discuss more strategic issues and can apply a top-down approach so that the working group performance under it can be more focused.
- Initiation Term of Reference (TOR) Private Sector Engagement in which the ASEAN Customs will provide an opportunity to interact with the private sector. It is proclaimed as it can encourage national private sector, national associations, especially Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) to get support in promoting ASEAN trade.
- Optimizing the role of ASEAN Harmonized Tariff Nomenclature Task Force (AHTN-TF), where ASEAN classification experts can gather to discuss, learn, and share opinions related to classification issues to be brought to the WCO Committee.
- The initiation of the new Strategic Plan on Customs Development (SPCD) which is considered more strategic in terms of substances. Which are: SPCD on ASEAN Customs Policy Studies on Forecasting; SPCD on ASEAN Customs Diagnostic Framework; SPCD on Enhancement of Customs Integrity; And SPCD on Human Resource and Administration Development. SPCD is proposed to be implemented in 2021-2025 and currently under discussion of ASEAN countries.
- Initiation of capacity building program for experts in each ASEAN country. This proposal is welcomed by member countries and will be followed up by reviewing the developers of accredited training centers and experts in ASEAN. This initiative is expected to encourage the increase of WCO Accredited Expert in ASEAN.
Achievement of the ASEAN Customs
Some of the recent achievements that have been successfully completed by ASEAN Customs are ASEAN Agreement on Customs, Broad Direction for Customs encompassing the period of 10 years (2016-2025), AHTN 2017, and ASEAN Valuation Training Module compiled by Indonesia. As a subsidiary of Broad Direction, ASEAN Customs has also successfully agreed on Strategic Action Plan and Key Performance Indicators (SAP-KPI) as a form of ASEAN Customs accountability.
ASEAN Single Window also experienced significant progress. ASEAN Customs Transit System (ACTS, ASEAN Customs Transit System) which will be a key for ASEAN connectivity and smooth flow of goods between countries in ASEAN is currently in the final phase to be fully enforceable. The Private Sector Engagement which will guide the private sector in contributing to the customs initiatives in ASEAN has been endorsed by the Directors General in the meeting.
ASEAN Customs is one of the key sectors in ASEAN economic pillar, especially in trade and transportation. In addition, law enforcement in the field of narcotics, dangerous goods for society, the environment, as well as the practices of smuggling is also a focus and a common concern of ASEAN Customs. The importance of synergy and inter-sectoral coordination in ASEAN is perceptible.
Almost all of the issues and the initiatives is a cross-cutting or sectoral issues involving the agencies others, such as Trade Facilitation discussed through the ASEAN Trade Facilitation Joint Consultative Committee (ATF-JCC), e-commerce by the ASEAN Coordinating Committee on E-Commerce (ATF -JCC), or in transit-related transport areas where DJBC is active as a member of the National Transit Transport Coordinating Committee (NTTCC). The ASEAN Meeting this year coincides with the 50th anniversary of ASEAN so it is expected that ASEAN spirit and solidarity can be a valuable capital to realize the aspirations of ASEAN.
Director General of Customs and Excise of Indonesia, Heru Pambudi said, “The core of this event is how the Directors in ASEAN can bring change. As we know, ASEAN’s economic growth is relatively large after China and India. There are so many threats that enter the country of Indonesia therefore in this event is expected to occur agreement and cooperation among ASEAN countries. We must cooperate with all the partners of both ASEAN countries and other countries, “he said when the press conference was accompanied by delegates of ASEAN countries.
Meanwhile, the private sector Indonesia represented by APJP Chairman Edward Otto Kanter said more than 100 companies are incorporated in the association. “Thirty percent of the flow of goods we handle, and we are from the manufacturing sector so that especially companies that join our association is very tight in global business supply chain among ASEAN countries,” he said.
Indeed, for the first time in this meeting, private sector is included to be involved in discussion and dialogue. “Because the rules have been agreed on the place where the meeting is held, therefore the Indonesian private sector is involved to be invited to dialogue and discussion. Enjoy the economic development of ASEAN, “said Heru Pambudi.
This agenda also proposes to decide on strategic steps, namely how to provide support and service. Especially ASEAN is currently growing its economy, economic growth also provides fiscal and non fiscal threats such as narcotics and so forth. The benefit of this meeting for Indonesia is to increase trade because Indonesia has lowered trade tariffs among ASEAN countries. Then another advantage is the smoothening of trade because the ASEAN Customs Organization has implemented ASEAN fellow procedures. ASEAN is a group because it is expected to be able to voice common voice in bigger events such as WCO and WTO.
“We are of course a joint operation, we concretely do law enforcement measures in terms of surveillance such as narcotics. The importance of synergy and inter-sectoral coordination in ASEAN is increasingly felt, as almost all issues and initiatives are cross-cutting issues involving other agencies, “said the Director General.
The 26th Meeting of The ASEAN Directors-General Of Customs – Temporaktif