New Online Customs Transit System To Boost Trade in ASEAN

The ASEAN region has launched a new online customs transit system aimed at reducing intra-ASEAN trading challenges for the private sector and helping firms to benefit fully from the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) and the free movement of goods across the region.

The ASEAN Customs Transit System, launched over the past weeks in various ASEAN countries, allows businesses to lodge e-transit declarations directly with ASEAN Customs Authorities and to track the movement of their goods from loading at departure to delivery at the final destination.

The new online customs system simplifies the movement of goods across ASEAN, making it more efficient and cost-effective. Under the 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.

The first successful transit movement via the system took place at the end of October with a truck travelling from Singapore via Malaysia to Thailand.

“The implementation of the ASEAN Customs Transit System plays a vital role in facilitating seamless movement of goods in the region. I believe the system would be an excellent tool in enhancing ASEAN’s trade and production networks as well as establishing a more unified market for its firms and consumers,” Dato Lim Jock Hoi, the Secretary-General of ASEAN, said in a statement.   

“The ACTS could also support post COVID recovery to accelerate the transit movement of medical supplies, vaccines and Personal Protective Equipment within the Member States,” he added.

The system is managed by a permanent ACTS Central Management Team based in the ASEAN Secretariat in Jakarta, Indonesia, with support from the EU-funded ARISE Plus programme.    

“The ACTS will make the movement of goods by road quicker and easier across the borders of the participating ASEAN Member States, thereby reducing costs for businesses and citizens,” said Koen Doens, Director General for International Cooperation and Development at the European Commission.