Recognising the need to streamline the rules of origin procedures to facilitate trade of ASEAN originating goods, the 23rd AFTA Council (Bangkok, August 2009) endorsed the “Work Plan Toward Operationalisation of Self Certification”. According to this Work Plan, all Member States would implement an ASEAN Self Certification Scheme by 2012. On 1 November 2010, three participating Member States, Brunei Darussalam, Malaysia and Singapore, will commence on a pilot project to kick-start the ASEAN Self Certification System for a period of one year.

The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the governments of participating Member States of the ASEAN on the pilot project for the implementation of a Regional Self-Certification System was signed on 30 August 2010 by the Economic Ministers of the three Participating Member States. The latter also have deposited their instrument of ratifications for the MOU with the Secretary-General of ASEAN on 29 October 2010. Other Member States can accede to the MOU subsequently subject to the agreement of the Participating Member States.

Self certification reduces the documentation burden of traders when claiming for preferential tariff treatment and would help to improve utilisation of tariff concessions offered under ATIGA. This would further enhance intra ASEAN trade.Under this scheme, the primary responsibility of origin certification is carried out by traders such as manufacturers and exporters, including small and medium enterprises, participating in regional trade. Under this scheme, certified exporters are allowed to declare that their products have satisfied the ASEAN origin criteria. The declaration will be made out by a certified exporter on a commercial invoice or, in the event the invoice is not available to the importer at the time of exportation, on any other commercial document such as billing statements, delivery order, or packing list.