1. The Eleventh Meeting of the ASEAN Directors-General of Customs was held on 8-10 July 2003 in Bangkok, Thailand, under the Chairmanship of Mr. Chavalit Sethameteekul, Director-General of the Thai Customs Department.
2. The Meeting was attended by the Directors-General of Customs, Commissioners and Heads of the Customs and Excise Administrations of Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Viet Nam.
3. H.E. Dr. Somkid Jatusripitak, Deputy Prime Minister for Economic Affairs of Thailand, opened the Meeting. In his keynote address, H.E. Dr. Somkid Jatusripitak reaffirmed that the closer cooperation among ASEAN countries becomes more crucial given the increasing of globalisation. The integration of ASEAN Customs would contribute to the prosperity and competitiveness of ASEAN economies. The regional customs cooperation aims to promote trade facilitation and to make ASEAN more viable and attractive to investors. The customs integration plays a central role not only to strive for greater efficiency in revenue collection and customs management, but also in the management of data and information, as well as in other areas of customs activities.
4. ASEAN Directors-General and Heads of the Customs and Excise Administrations endorsed the use of Alternative Rule in the transposition of tariff lines under the CEPT Schemes into the ASEAN Harmonised Tariff Nomenclature (AHTN). The Alternative Rule uses one additional alphabetical letter (for letters of A to F) to the existing AHTN codification, and its application will terminate definitively in December 31, 2006. The Rule will enable the AHTN to be implemented by all Member Countries, not later than 1 January 2004.
5. In this Meeting, the ASEAN Customs Directors-General endorsed the ASEAN Post Clearance Audit (PCA) Manual and the ASEAN Customs Valuation Guide (ACVG) for gradual harmonization of practices relevant to customs valuation in the region for trade facilitation. The two documents will be used to assist ASEAN in the implementation of PCA and the WTO Customs Valuation Agreement for more transparent and uniform customs practices.
6. In the spirit of promoting a faster clearance to facilitate trade, ASEAN Directors-General of Customs endorsed the Single Window for cargo clearance in ASEAN. ASEAN Customs also adopted the establishment of the Single format of Customs Declaration for imports and exports of ASEAN in line with the UN Layout Key and the Single Administrative Document (SAD).
7. ASEAN Directors-General of Customs also endorsed the establishment of ASEAN e-Customs operating on the most updated technical solutions in accordance to recommendations by the WCO, by the UN agencies and other international organisations.
8. ASEAN Directors-General of Customs endorsed the ASEAN Customs Bulletin on Enforcement and Mutual Assistance to facilitate the exchange of information and to promote Voluntary Compliance to ASEAN Customs legislations in the region. It serves to update frontline customs officers for more effective and efficient enforcement, better customs management and protection of legitimate interests of ASEAN economies.
9. ASEAN Directors-General of Customs held the Inaugural ASEAN-China Customs Consultation. The cooperation between ASEAN and China focuses the implementation of the ASEAN-China Free Trade Arrangement (FTA), and to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of customs operations and to enhance customs professionalism through human resource development.
10. ASEAN Directors-General of Customs also held their Fifth Consultation with Japan. ASEAN expressed her appreciation to the Government of Japan, particularly to Japan Customs and Tariff Bureau for the substantial contribution to the development of ASEAN Customs Administrations.
11. ASEAN Directors-General welcome initiatives of the private sector to work with Customs on issues of mutual interest, such as speeding up customs clearance, and the establishment of ASEAN e-Customs. They expressed appreciation to the support extended by ASEAN businesses to customs works, i.e. the support of Dagang Net, among others, in the application of Information and Communication Technology in Customs and the proposal for the strengthening of the AFTA Rules of Origin. The success of the Project ACCESS in Malaysia illustrated a good example of the ASEAN Customs-Business Partnership in the ASEAN region.