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Six Asean countries implement Asean Customs Transit System for land movement of goods

BUSINESSES can look forward to time savings, cost reduction and better connectivity in moving goods by land across six South-east Asian countries under a single cross-border transit regime launched on Monday.

The Asean Customs Transit System (ACTS) will be implemented in Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam, according to a joint statement by the Singapore Customs and the Ministry of Trade and Industry.

ACTS enables goods to be transported by road under a single regime, regardless of which Asean member state they depart, transit and arrive at, although it is subject existing border measures imposed by respective countries during the Covid-19 pandemic.

"Traders can carry out a single transit journey across participating Asean member states via a single truck, single customs declaration and single banker's guarantee," said the statement.

The use of a regional computerised customs transit management system allows the customs administrations in each country to efficiently capture and track the status and movement of goods under ACTS, it added.

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The implementation of the system is provided under the Asean Framework Agreement on the Facilitation of Goods in Transit, which was signed and ratified by all 10 Asean member states.

It is a key regional initiative to facilitate intra-Asean trade and promote free flow of goods, supporting the objectives of the Asean Economic Community to increase integration, cohesion, innovation and connectivity across the Asean member states, Singapore authorities said.

"In the current global trade environment that is increasingly uncertain, it is important that Asean presses on in its economic integration to unlock the region's economic potential so that Asean remains resilient and future-ready," said Lee Boon Chong, senior assistant director-general (trade) of Singapore Customs, and chairman of the Asean Customs Procedures and Trade Facilitation Working Group's Sub-Working Group on ACTS.

In the pilot phase, DHL Global Forwarding Singapore successfully carried out cross-border transit operations from Singapore to Thailand through Malaysia on Oct 23 and 28.

Businesses that are interested to commence the ACTS trucking movement from Singapore to any of the participating countries can approach Singapore Customs to find out more about the application process.

More information can be found at https://acts.asean.org and https://www.customs.gov.sg/businesses/asean-customs-transit-system/overview

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