Online Customs Transit System Enables Seamless Trade in ASEAN

Date Published: December 15, 2020

The ASEAN Customs Transit System (ACTS) has come online and is expected to make trade across multiple countries in Southeast Asia easier and more cost-efficient. It will help fast-track the transit of medical supplies, vaccines, and personal protective equipment, which are vital in the fight against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). ASEAN has also moved to phase out or eliminate non-tariff measures for these essential goods.

Launched in November 2020, the online system allows traders to make a single customs transit declaration and to transport goods without changing vehicles at each border. E-transit declarations are filed directly with customs authorities. Traders can track their goods from loading at the port of departure to the destination.

Initially, the system covers six ASEAN countries: Cambodia, the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, and Viet Nam, where pilot activities were conducted. It will soon be available in Myanmar and may later be expanded to Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, and the Philippines, depending on business needs, a news release said.

Developed with the support of the European Union, ACTS supports ASEAN’s twin goals of reducing trade transaction costs by 10% by 2020 and doubling intraregional trade by 2025.

Special arrangements allow reliable traders to load their goods at their own premises in the country of departure and to deliver the goods to their own premises at destination.