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Trade Facilitation and Paperless Trade Implementation: 2013/14 Asia-Pacific Update

Working paper by Wang, Tengfei and Duval, Yann, 2014

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This paper provides a unique set of data on the progress made by 29 countries in Asia and the Pacific in implementing various trade facilitation and paperless trade measures in 2013/14, as well as estimates of the benefits from moving forward with implementation. An important finding is that most countries do not regularly assess or publish release times, pointing to the lack of effective national trade facilitation monitoring mechanisms. The study reveals that, at the regional level, automation and paperless trade, including establishment of national single window, were the key focus of trade facilitation reforms in 2013. Enabling cross-border paperless trade is identified as the most challenging task to further advance trade facilitation in Asia-Pacific, highlighting the need for timely conclusion of a regional arrangement to facilitate cross-border recognition and exchange of trade-related electronic data and documents.


























































Trade and Investment


Working Paper Series
NO. 02/14| JUNE 2014


Addressing


Non-Tariff Measures


in ASEAN




Gloria O. Pasadilla


TRADE FACILITATION


AND PAPERLESS TRADE


IMPLEMENTATION:


2013/14 ASIA-PACIFIC


UPDATE




Tengfei Wang and Yann Duval










ESCAP is the regional development arm of the United Nations and serves as the


main economic and social development centre for the United Nations in Asia and the


Pacific. Its mandate is to foster cooperation between its 53 members and 9


associate members. ESCAP provides the strategic link between global and country-


level programmes and issues. It supports Governments of the region in


consolidating regional positions and advocates regional approaches to meeting the


region’s unique and socio-economic challenges in a globalizing world. The ESCAP


office is located in Bangkok, Thailand. Please visit our website at www.unescap.org


for further information.







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i










NO. 02/14| 27 June 2014






TRADE FACILITATION AND PAPERLESS


TRADE IMPLEMENTATION: 2013/14 ASIA-


PACIFIC UPDATE




Tengfei Wang and Yann Duval*
















*Tengfei Wang and Yann Duval are respectively Economic Affairs Officer and Chief, Trade Facilitation, Trade and


Investment Division, at United Nations ESCAP. Authors are grateful to Roman Vernidub and Sarisa Pechpoothong


for their invaluable inputs and able assistance for data collection. Authors are indebted to Markus Pikart from


UNECE, Vincent Valentine and Jan Hoffmann from UNCTAD, Evdokia Moise from OECD and Kokichi Watanabe


from Japan Association for Simplification of International Trade Procedures (JASTPRO) for their constructive


comments. Authors are grateful to Jean-Paul Rodrigue from Hofstra University and Theo Notteboom from


University of Antwerp for allowing the authors to use their dataset on transshipment incidence at major ports in


Asia. Any errors that remain are sole responsibility of the authors.




WORKING PAPER SERIES


Trade and Investment


Please cite this paper as: Wang, Tengfei and Yann Duval (2014), Trade Facilitation and


Paperless Trade Implementation: 2013/14 Asia-Pacific Update, ESCAP Trade and


Investment Division, TID Working Paper No. 02/14, 27 June 2014. Bangkok.




ii


Abstract: The Trade Facilitation Agreement adopted by the WTO member countries at the


Bali Ministerial Conference in December 2013 highlights the importance of trade facilitation for


international trade and the global economy. This paper provides a unique set of data on the


progress made by 29 countries in Asia and the Pacific in implementing various trade


facilitation and paperless trade measures in 2013/14, as well as estimates of the benefits from


moving forward with implementation. An important finding is that most countries do not


regularly assess or publish release times, pointing to the lack of effective national trade


facilitation monitoring mechanisms. The study reveals that, at the regional level, automation


and paperless trade, including establishment of national single window, were the key focus of


trade facilitation reforms in 2013. Enabling cross-border paperless trade is identified as the


most challenging task to further advance trade facilitation in Asia-Pacific, highlighting the need


for timely conclusion of a regional arrangement to facilitate cross-border recognition and


exchange of trade-related electronic data and documents, as currently being discussed by


countries of the region under ESCAP Resolution 68/3. At the subregional level, East and


Northeast Asia and ASEAN lead implementation of trade facilitation measures, followed by


Central Asia (including the Russian Federation) and South Asia (SAARC). The empirical


analysis included in the paper reveals that direct trade costs for containerized goods in the


region, excluding international transport costs between seaports, amount to approximately


US$ 159 billion annually and that full implementation of trade facilitation measures included in


the survey could lower such costs by 20% on average, amounting to savings of at least US$


31 billion every year. It also reveals that full implementation of trade facilitation measures in


the 14 landlocked developing and/or least developed countries (LLDCs and/or LDCs) included


in the study would enable these countries to collectively reduce direct trade costs for


containerized goods by US$ 3 billion per annum.




JEL Classification: F1, O5, C1




Key words: Trade facilitation, Trade costs, paperless trade, Single Window, Transit, LLDC,


LDC, WTO, connectivity.




iii


Contents




INTRODUCTION ................................................................................................................................................... 1


IMPLEMENTATION STATUS OF 40 TRADE FACILITATION MEASURES ................................................................... 2


NATIONAL TRADE FACILITATION BODY ............................................................................................................................ 2


GENERAL TRADE FACILITATION MEASURES ...................................................................................................................... 3


PAPERLESS TRADE FACILITATION MEASURES .................................................................................................................... 5


TOWARDS CROSS-BORDER PAPERLESS TRADE .................................................................................................................. 6


COOPERATION AT THE BORDERS ..................................................................................................................................... 8


TRANSIT FACILITATION ................................................................................................................................................. 8


AVAILABILITY OF TRADE RELATED INFORMATION ............................................................................................................... 9


a. Enquiry points ........................................................................................................................................... 9


b. Customs website ..................................................................................................................................... 10


PROGRESS AND CHALLENGES FOR ADVANCING TRADE FACILITATION ................................................................................... 10


REGIONAL ASSESSMENT OF TRADE FACILITATION IMPLEMENTATION AND BENEFITS ...................................... 13


TRADE FACILITATION IMPLEMENTATION: COUNTRY SCORES AND SUBREGIONAL PEFORMANCE ................................................ 13


TRADE COST REDUCTIONS FROM CONTINUING TRADE FACILITATION IMPLEMENTATION ......................................................... 14


SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS ......................................................................................................................... 21


STUDY LIMITATIONS AND WAY FORWARD ....................................................................................................... 23


ANNEX 1. SURVEY ON TRADE FACILITATION AND PAPERLESS TRADE IMPLEMENTATION ................................. 24


ANNEX 2. ESTIMATION OF VOLUME OF IMPORT AND EXPORT CONTAINERS .................................................... 33







iv


List of Tables


TABLE 1: TRADE FACILITATION MEASURES FOR WHICH THE COUNTRIES HAVE MADE THE MOST PROGRESS IN IMPLEMENTATION FOR THE


LAST 12 MONTHS ................................................................................................................................................. 11


TABLE 2: TRADE FACILITATION MEASURES IMPLEMENTED IN THE PAST 12 MONTHS .................................................................... 12


TABLE 3: KEY CHALLENGES FOR IMPLEMENTING TRADE FACILITATION MEASURES ....................................................................... 12


TABLE 4: VOLUME OF IMPORT AND EXPORT CONTAINERS ...................................................................................................... 18




List of Figures


FIGURE 1: GENERAL TRADE FACILITATION MEASURES IMPLEMENTED BY COUNTRIES ...................................................................... 4


FIGURE 2: GENERAL TRADE FACILITATION MEASURES IMPLEMENTED BY COUNTRIES ...................................................................... 4


FIGURE 3: AVAILABILITY OF ICT INFRASTRUCTURE FOR TRADE FACILITATION ............................................................................... 5


FIGURE 4: ELECTRONIC SUBMISSION OF DOCUMENTS ............................................................................................................. 6


FIGURE 5: AVAILABILITY OF LAWS AND REGULATIONS FOR CROSS-BORDER ELECTRONIC TRANSACTION .............................................. 6


FIGURE 6: AVAILABILITY OF RECOGNIZED CERTIFICATION AUTHORITY ISSUING DIGITAL CERTIFICATES ................................................ 7


FIGURE 7: CROSS-BORDER PAPERLESS TRADE PRACTICE ........................................................................................................... 7


FIGURE 8: COOPERATION AT THE BORDERS .......................................................................................................................... 8


FIGURE 9: MEASURES TO FACILITATE TRANSIT ....................................................................................................................... 9


FIGURE 10: INFORMATION PUBLISHED ON CUSTOMS WEBSITE BY THE COUNTRIES ...................................................................... 10


FIGURE 11: TRADE FACILITATION IMPLEMENTATION SCORE OF SELECTED ASIA-PACIFIC COUNTRIES (INCLUDING PAPERLESS TRADE) .... 13


FIGURE 12: SUBREGIONAL PERFORMANCE IN IMPLEMENTING TRADE FACILITATION .................................................................... 14


FIGURE 13: DIRECT TRADE COSTS VS. TRADE FACILITATION IMPLEMENTATION SCORE .................................................................. 15


FIGURE 14: COMPREHENSIVE TRADE COSTS AND TRADE FACILITATION IMPLEMENTATION SCORE ................................................... 15


FIGURE 15: REDUCTION IN DIRECT TRADE COSTS FROM TRADE FACILITATION IMPLEMENTATION IN SELECTED ASIA-PACIFIC COUNTRIES


(US$ PER CONTAINER) .......................................................................................................................................... 17


FIGURE 16: EFFECT OF TRADE FACILITATION IMPLEMENTATION ON DIRECT TRADE COSTS PER ANNUM OF ASIA-PACIFIC COUNTRIES ..... 20


FIGURE 17: EFFECT OF TRADE FACILITATION IMPLEMENTATION ON DIRECT TRADE COSTS PER ANNUM OF ASIA-PACIFIC LLDCS AND LDCS


......................................................................................................................................................................... 21





1


Introduction


The most important achievement in advancing trade facilitation at the global level in 2013


was the adoption of the WTO trade facilitation agreement (TFA) at the Ministerial Conference


held in Bali in December. The Agreement provides a global framework for WTO member


countries to implement selected trade facilitation measures and highlights the importance of


trade facilitation for international trade and the global economy. More importantly, it


demonstrates the commitment of a wide range of countries, from least developed to most


advanced countries, to advancing trade facilitation and making international trade procedures


more transparent and efficient.


Since 2012, the ESCAP Secretariat has set out to systematically collect and analyze


information on the actual implementation of trade facilitation measures in the region, to


provide a basis for developing more relevant capacity building and technical assistance


programmes as well as for countries to design and prioritize their own trade facilitation


implementation plans and strategies. Taking into account the interest of Member States from


the region in enabling paperless trade for trade facilitation, a first regional survey on trade


facilitation and paperless trade implementation was conducted in 2012. One conclusion from


that first survey was that the “survey effort should be treated as a continuous, rather than an


ad-hoc ‘one-off’ activity”.1 A follow-up survey was therefore conducted in 2013/14, the results


of which are presented in this paper, along with an empirical analysis of the benefits from


moving forward with trade facilitation and paperless trade implementation.


Data collection was mainly conducted through a survey questionnaire (see Annex 1)


administered as an email attachment and via a dedicated website to participants of the Asia-


Pacific Trade Facilitation Forum 2013 held in Beijing in September. The respondents were


typically government officials and experts in charge of trade facilitation and/or Customs


control, as well as representatives from relevant private sector associations. Additional data


collection through other experts as well as secondary data was conducted between October


2013 and March 2014 in order to complete, cross-check and validate the data. The final


dataset, presented in this paper, included information on implementation of over 40 trade


facilitation and paperless trade measures in 29 countries of Asia and the Pacific.2 Most


measures featured in the WTO TFA are covered.3


Implementation status of each trade facilitation and paperless trade measures included in the


study is discussed in the next section, followed by a regional assessment of trade facilitation


implementation and benefits. Summary and conclusions are then presented. The paper ends


with a discussion of the limitations of the study and way forward.





1


The paper summarizing results from the 2012/13 survey is available at
http://www.unescap.org/resources/trade-facilitation-and-paperless-trade-asia-results-expert-survey. Most
conclusions and findings in the previous paper are still largely valid and have not been repeated in this paper.
Reading the two papers together is therefore recommended.
2
Questionnaire and dataset are available at http://unnext.unescap.org/tfforum13.asp.


3
At the time the questionnaire was prepared, the outcome of the WTO Bali Ministerial Conference was


unknown yet but the content of the latest draft WTO TFA text was taken into account.




2


Implementation Status of 40 Trade Facilitation Measures


This section presents findings on the status of implementation of each trade facilitation


measure included in the survey. The discussion follows the survey structure, starting with (1)


National trade facilitation bodies, and followed by (2) General trade facilitation measures; (3)


Paperless trade facilitation; (4) Cross-border paperless trade measures; (5) Border agency


cooperation and (5) Transit facilitation. Measures related to (6) trade-related information


availability, selected as a special focus for this 2013/14 survey, are then discussed in greater


details, followed by (7) key challenges and recommendations for trade facilitation and


paperless trade.


National Trade Facilitation Body


A national trade facilitation body (NTFB) generally refers to an institutional arrangement that


brings together relevant diverse parties with interest in trade facilitation (including both


government and private sector) and provides a mechanism for identifying problems and


implementing measures to streamline trade procedures. Examples of NTFBs include PRO-


Committees, FAL Committees, and National Trade and Transport Facilitation Committees. In


the context of the WTO negotiations on trade facilitation, many countries also set up various


working groups to support the negotiating process.4


According to the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement, “Each Member shall establish and/or


maintain a national committee on trade facilitation or designate an existing mechanism to


facilitate both domestic coordination and implementation of provisions of this Agreement.”


Results from the survey reveal that 11 countries (Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Bhutan,


Cambodia, Lao PDR, Mongolia, Nepal, Pakistan, Singapore and Thailand) have a national


trade facilitation body in place. Bhutan is a new member of this group. It established its trade


facilitation committee in February 2013 and the committee has been active since then.5


In 7 countries (China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Republic of Korea and Viet Nam),


NTFBs have been partially established, or a mechanism for coordination of trade facilitation


has been put in place. Among these countries, in China, Indonesia and Malaysia, a


mechanism for cross-sectoral coordination to facilitate trade and logistics has been put in


place, although officially there is no trade facilitation body. In India, Japan, Republic of Korea


and Viet Nam, the committees for paperless trade facilitation (including single window)


partially fulfill the functions of trade facilitation bodies but comprise fewer representatives


from either government or private sector compared with a fully-fledged trade facilitation


committee.


For the remaining 11 countries surveyed, a trade facilitation body has not been established,


suggesting that coordination of trade facilitation may have taken place essentially on an ad-


hoc basis.



4
More information is available at http://tfig.unece.org/contents/trade-facilitation-bodies.htm.


5
Relevant work on establishment of trade facilitation body at global level including selected countries in Asia


and the Pacific has been carried out by UNCTAD, available at
http://unctad.org/en/DTL/TLB/Pages/TF/Committees/default.aspx.




3


General Trade Facilitation Measures


The following measures, most of which are featured in the WTO TFA, were included in the


survey:


 Publication of existing import-export regulations on the Internet


 Stakeholder consultation on new draft regulations (prior to their finalization)


 Advance publication/notification of new regulation before their implementation (e. g.,
30 days prior)


 Advance Ruling (on tariff classification)


 Risk management (as a basis for deciding whether a shipment will or not be
physically inspected)


 Pre-arrival clearance


 Post-clearance audit


 Independent appeal mechanism (for traders to appeal Customs rulings)


 National Single Window


 Separation of Release from final determination of Customs duties, taxes, fees and
charges;


 Establishment and publication of average release times;


 Trade facilitation measures for authorized operators; and


 Expedited shipments


Implementation of these measures in the countries surveyed is summarized in figures 1 and


2. Publication of existing import and export regulations on the internet has been fully


implemented by almost 50% of the countries surveyed. This is probably not surprising


because the import and export regulations are fundamental for international trade and are


the first and foremost concerns for all parties.


Establishment and publication of average release times is the least fully implemented trade


facilitation measure. Japan has conducted and published results of studies on release times


on a regular basis. However, most other countries only conduct time release study on an ad-


hoc basis (if at all), and/or often do not publish the results.


As shown in figure 2, all measures are being at least partially implemented by most (over


50%) of the countries included in the survey. Measures related to Authorized economic


operators (AEO) are found to be ones on which the fewest countries seem to have been


working on, followed by Establishment and publication of average release times.





4


Figure 1: General trade facilitation measures implemented by countries
(ordered according to ‘full implementation’)




Source: UN ESCAP 2013/14 Survey


Figure 2: General trade facilitation measures implemented by countries
(ordered according to ‘full’ and ‘partial’ implementation combined)




Source: UN ESCAP 2013/14 Survey


0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100%


Establishment and publication of average release…


Pre-arrival processing


National single window


Post-clearance audit


Stakeholder consultation on new draft…


Advance ruling (on tariff classification)


Risk management


Trade facilitation measures for authorized…


Independent appeal mechanism


Advance publication/ notification of new…


Separation of Release from final determination…


Expedited shipments


Publication of existing import-export regulations…


Fully Partially Not


0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100%


Trade facilitation measures for authorized…


Establishment and publication of average release…


National single window


Pre-arrival processing


Expedited shipments


Advance ruling (on tariff classification)


Independent appeal mechanism


Post-clearance audit


Risk management


Separation of Release from final determination…


Advance publication/ notification of new…


Stakeholder consultation on new draft…


Publication of existing import-export regulations…


Fully Partially Not




5


Paperless Trade Facilitation Measures


This section examines information on (1) establishment of electronic/automated Customs


system (e.g., ASYCUDA), (2) internet connection available to Customs and other trade


control agencies at border-crossings and (3) establishment of an electronic Single Window


System, as well as (4) electronic submission of documents. The first three measures are


used to examine physical availability of ICT for trade facilitation whilst the fourth measure is


used to examine how ICT is utilized for trade facilitation.


As shown in figure 3, electronic/automated Customs systems have been either fully or


partially established in all countries surveyed. In all countries surveyed, internet connection


has been, or is in the process of being, made available to Customs and other trade control


agencies at the main border-crossings. In 17 countries (or 59% of the countries surveyed),


an electronic single window system has been fully or partially developed.


Figure 3: Availability of ICT infrastructure for trade facilitation




Source: UN ESCAP 2013/14 Survey


In terms of electronic submission of documents, figure 4 shows that Electronic submission of


Customs declaration has been either fully or partially implemented in 96% (or 28 countries)


of the countries surveyed. Electronic application for Customs refunds has been the least


implemented measure in this group although it has been partially implemented by over 50%


of the countries surveyed. Other measures including Electronic submission of air cargo


manifests, Electronic application and issuance of trade licenses, Electronic submission of


sea cargo manifests, Electronic application and issuance of preferential Certificate of Origin,


and Electronic payment of Customs duties have been partially implemented in over 70% of


countries surveyed.


0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100%


Electronic Single Window System


Internet connection available to Customs and
other trade control agencies at border-crossings


Electronic/automated Customs System


Fully Partially Not




6


Figure 4: Electronic submission of documents




Source: UN ESCAP 2013/14 Survey


Towards Cross-Border Paperless Trade


In this section, the first two indicators (including Availability of laws and regulations for cross-


border electronic transaction and Availability of recognized certification authority issuing


digital certificates) are used to examine the legal framework and institutional arrangement for


cross-border paperless trade. The other four indicators (including Engagement in cross-


border electronic data exchange, Electronic exchange of Certificate of Origin, Electronic


exchange of Sanitary & Phyto-Sanitary certificates, and Banks and insurers retrieving letters


of credit electronically without lodging paper-based documents) are used to examine the


practices of cross-border paperless trade.


As shown in figure 5, twenty-two (22) countries or 76% of the countries surveyed have fully


or partially promulgated laws and regulations for electronic transactions. Seven countries or


24% of the countries surveyed do not have such laws or regulations.


Figure 5: Availability of laws and regulations for cross-border electronic transaction




Source: UN ESCAP 2013/14 Survey


0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100%


Electronic application for Customs refunds


E-Payment of Customs duties and fees


Electronic submission of sea cargo manifests


Electronic submission of air cargo manifests


Electronic submission of Customs declarations


Fully Partially Not


38%


38%


24%


Fully


Partially


Not




7


Figure 6: Availability of recognized certification authority issuing digital certificates




Source: UN ESCAP 2013/14 Survey


As shown in figure 6, only 21% of the countries surveyed (or 6 countries) have recognized


certification authorities that can issue digital certificates to traders to conduct electronic


transactions whilst another ten (10) countries are found to be developing such certification


authorities. 45% of the countries surveyed (or 13 countries) or do not have such certification


authorities.


As shown in figure 7, no country report “full implementation” of cross-border paperless trade


measures. Fifteen (15) countries, or over 50% of the countries surveyed, have engaged in


some form of cross border exchange of electronic trade documents, essentially on a pilot


basis or with a very limited number of partner countries. Specifically, twelve (12) countries, or


around 40% of the countries surveyed, have engaged in some electronic exchange of


Certificates of Origin with other countries. Similarly, in 12 of the countries surveyed,


measures are being taken to allow for banks and insurers to retrieve letters of credit


electronically without lodging paper-based documents. Eight (8) countries or 28% of


countries surveyed have been engaged in electronic exchange of Sanitary & Phyto-Sanitary


Certificate with other countries.


Figure 7: Cross-border paperless trade practice




Source: UN ESCAP 2013/14 Survey


21%


34%


45%
Fully


Partially


Not


0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100%


Electronic exchange of Sanitary & Phyto-Sanitary
certificate


Electronic exchange of Certificate of Origin
electronically


Banks and insurers retrieving letters of credit
electronically without lodging paper-based…


Engagement of cross-border electronic data
exchange


Fully Partially Not




8


Cooperation at the borders


This section examines the cooperation at the borders, which includes cooperation of different


agencies within a country (including Cooperation between agencies on the ground at the


national level and Government agencies delegating controls to Customs authorities) and


cooperation with neighbouring country(ies) (including Alignment of working days and hours


with neighbouring countries at border crossings and Alignment of formalities and procedures


with neighbouring countries at border crossings).


Figure 8, not surprisingly, shows that cooperation within a country is more widespread than


cooperation with neighbouring countries. It indicates that in 12 countries (or over 40% of


countries surveyed) different border agencies fully cooperate with each other, whilst in


another 17 countries (or almost 60% of the countries surveyed) to some extent border


agencies cooperate with each other. In 24 countries (or 82% of the countries surveyed),


controls are either fully or partially delegated to Customs authorities.


Alignment of working days and hours with neighbouring countries at border crossings has


been either fully or partially implemented in only 9 and 12 countries (or 31% and 41% of


countries surveyed), respectively. Alignment of formalities and procedures with neighbouring


countries at border crossings has also been fully implemented in very few countries (only 4


countries or 13% of countries), although many countries are reportedly working on it (17


countries, or 59%).


Figure 8: Cooperation at the borders




Source: UN ESCAP 2013/14 Survey


Transit Facilitation


This section reviews availability of information, publication of fees and charges, and border


operation and cooperation related to transit facilitation. Survey results and subsequent


further verification of data reveal that the relevant information on transit fees and charges has


seldom been published on the internet. Such information in most cases is available at the


concerned office and bureaus. Shippers, freight forwarders and transport operators surveyed


indicated that such information was rarely available in public domain or transparent to them.


0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100%


Alignment of formalities and procedures with
neighbouring countries at border crossings


Alignment of working days and hours with
neighbouring countries at border crossings


Government agencies delegating controls to
Customs authorities


Cooperation between agencies on the ground at
the national level


Fully Partially Not




9


In terms of transit operation, as shown in figure 9, in 23 countries (or almost 80% of the


countries surveyed), Customs Authorities limit the physical inspections of transit goods to


some extent. Similarly, in 23 countries, various border agencies cooperate on transit to some


extent. Pre-arrival processing for transit trade is also partially or fully supported in 19


countries (or 66% of the countries surveyed).


Figure 9: Measures to facilitate transit




Source: UN ESCAP 2013/14 Survey


Availability of Trade Related Information


Availability of trade related information, including publication of trade regulations, was briefly


addressed in the General Trade Facilitation Measures subsection. However, it is discussed


in greater details here as it was selected as a special focus area for this 2013/14 survey.


Survey results show that information on trade procedures and regulations is published by


Customs and Ministry of Commerce in most countries surveyed. The key concern, however,


is whether there is a mechanism in place to ensure the information is published and updated


on a regular basis and in a coordinated manner. Survey results reveal that only Lao PDR has


established a trade portal which aims to provide a one-stop point for all information on trade


related procedures and enquiry points. In addition, a mechanism has also been put in place


to ensure relevant data and information are collected and uploaded to the Portal.


Another concern is how difficult it is to search for the required information. Although trade


facilitation information is available, the information is often scattered, which often makes it


very difficult or impossible for the users to easily collect information they need.


a. Enquiry points


Survey results show that all countries have enquiry points but they are often set up by each


individual ministry/agencies with limited coordination. The noticeable exception in this


respect is Lao PDR which provides a one-stop enquiry point through its trade portal. For


instance, the trade portal provides information on enquiry points for Sanitary and Phyto-


sanitary Measures (SPS) and Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT), as well as other trade-


related matters.


0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100%


Supporting pre-arrival processing for transit trade


Cooperation between agencies of countries
involved in transit


Customs Authorities limit the physical inspections
of transit goods and use risk assessment


Fully Partially Not




10


b. Customs website


As shown in figure 10, almost all countries surveyed have set up a customs website, with the


only exception of Bhutan. Information on Bhutan Customs is embedded on the website of the


Ministry of Finance and is very scarce. Almost all countries publish import and export


procedures on their Customs website, but the level of detail can vary significantly: some


countries (such as Afghanistan) only provide basic introduction to the procedures whilst other


countries (such as Singapore) provide very detailed information. Most countries (26 out of


29) publish rates of duties and rules of Customs classification. However, published examples


of Customs classification are scarce. In general, there is more information available on the


internet on procedures and duties/fees of Customs than on those of other government


agencies involved in trade and border control.


Figure 10: Information published on Customs website by the countries




Source: UN ESCAP 2013/14 Survey


Progress and Challenges for Advancing Trade Facilitation


This section examines the key progress and challenges for advancing trade facilitation in the


countries surveyed. The respondents were required to identify the trade facilitation measures


on which their country had made the most progress over the past 12 months. The summary


of the responses is shown in table 1.


Out of respondents from 19 countries who provided information on progress and challenges,


respondents from 16 countries identified that the most progress has been made in trade


facilitation measures related to automation and paperless trade procedures (including


development of national single window). The finding is interesting and suggests that,


although national single window has been less frequently implemented than many other


trade facilitation measures included in the survey, countries are actively working on


developing electronic systems to facilitate trade – which may or may not be seen as building


blocks towards a national electronic single window infrastructure.


Progress has also been made by countries in terms of risk management, legislation and


regulations on trade facilitation, publication of trade-related information and post-clearance


audit.


0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100%


Procedures of border agencies


Rules and examples of customs classification


Rate of duties


Import and export procedures


Fully Partially Not




11


Table 1: Trade facilitation measures for which the countries have made the most progress


in implementation for the last 12 months


Paperless and
Automation (incl. Single


Window)


Risk
management


Legislation and
regulations on trade


facilitation


Publication of
information


Post-
clearance


audit


Azerbaijan x


Bangladesh x x


Bhutan x x


Cambodia x x x x


China x


India x x


Indonesia x


Japan x


Kyrgyzstan x


Lao PDR x x


Maldives x


Mongolia x


Nepal x x


Pakistan x x


Sri Lanka x


Tajikistan x x


Thailand x


Uzbekistan


Viet Nam x


Total 16 4 3 3 2


Source: UN ESCAP 2013/14 Survey


The respondents were then asked to identify other most important trade facilitation measures


implemented by the countries for the past year. As shown in table 2, trade facilitation


measures related to automation and paperless trade (including development of national


single window) were identified to be the most important measures implemented for the past


12 months. Other trade facilitation measures including risk management, legislation and


regulation on trade facilitation, publication of trade-related information, post-clearance audit,


independent appeal mechanism, development of physical infrastructure and establishment of


trade facilitation committee were also identified as important trade facilitation measures


implemented by the countries for the past 12 months.


The respondents were also required to identify the key challenges for implementing trade


facilitation measures in their countries. In particular, they were required to rank three key


challenges out of five, namely, (1) Lack of coordination between government agencies; (2)


Lack of political will; (3) No clearly designated lead agency; (4) Financial constraints; (5)


Limited human resource capacity. They could also add some other challenges not listed in


the questionnaire.







12


Table 2: Trade facilitation measures implemented in the past 12 months
Paperless


and
Automation
(incl. Single
Window)


Risk
management


Legislation
and


regulations
on trade


facilitation


Publication
of


information


Post-
clearance


audit


Independent
appeal


mechanism


Physical
infrastructure


Trade
facilitation
committee


Bangladesh x X x


Bhutan x


Cambodia x x x


Indonesia x


Japan x


Lao PDR x


Maldives x


Myanmar x


Nepal x


Sri Lanka x


Tajikistan x


Thailand x


Total 8 1 2 1 1 1 1


Source: UN ESCAP 2013/14 Survey


Table 3: Key challenges for implementing trade facilitation measures



Lack of coordination


between government
agencies


Lack of
political


will


No clearly
designated lead


agency


Financial
constraints


Limited human
resource capacity


Others


Afghanistan 3 1 2


Azerbaijan 1


Bangladesh 3 1 2


Bhutan 3 1 2


Cambodia 3 1 2


China 1 2 3


India


Indonesia 1 3 2


Japan 1


Lao PDR 2 1 3


Malaysia 1 2 3


Maldives 3 1 2


Mongolia 2 3 1


Nepal 1 2 3


Philippines 3 2 1


Rep. of Korea 1


Russian
Federation


2 1 3


Sri Lanka 3 1 2


Thailand 2 1 3


Uzbekistan 2 1


Viet Nam 1 2 3


Source: UN ESCAP 2013/14 Survey





13


The results from the survey, as summarized in Table 3, show that most LDCs in the region


such as Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia and Lao PDR identified “financial


constraints” as the most challenging factor. On the other hand, lack of coordination between


government agencies and limited human resources are most frequently identified by


respondents from other countries as the most challenging factors.




Regional Assessment of Trade Facilitation Implementation


and Benefits


Trade Facilitation Implementation: Country Scores and Subregional Peformance


Figure 11 shows the overall implementation of trade facilitation measures by the countries


surveyed, including all the paperless trade measures included in the survey. Singapore,


Japan, and the Republic of Korea lead in overall implementation, followed closely by


Thailand, China and the Russian Federation. The least developed countries (LDCs) and the


landlocked developing countries (LLDCs) such as Bhutan and Afghanistan are ranked low.


Figure 11: Trade facilitation implementation Score of selected Asia-Pacific Countries
(including paperless trade)



Note: (1). A large score means advanced level of implementation; (2) ‘full implementation’, ‘partial
implementation’ and ‘no implementation’ of each trade facilitation measure scores 2, 1 and 0,
respectively; (3) each trade facilitation measure is given same weight to calculate the overall score; (4)
a few indicators under ‘transit’ is excluded for calculating overall score because transit is less relevant
for some countries (such as Japan); and (5) the maximum possible score for a country is 100.

Source: the authors


0


10


20


30


40


50


60


70


80


90


100




14




Figure 12 shows the performance of four subregions in Asia in terms of implementation of


trade facilitation measures. The East and Northeast Asia subregion, comprising China,


Japan, Mongolia and Republic of Korea, has the highest implementation score, followed by


ASEAN.6 The two other subregions, including Central Asia (including four Central Asian


countries and the Russian Federation) and South Asia (including all 8 SAARC members) are


found to have achieved lower levels of implementation.




Figure 12: Subregional performance in implementing trade facilitation


Note: indicates the average score of each subregion. Numbers in parentheses represent
relative standard deviation.

Source: the authors


Trade Cost Reductions from Continuing Trade Facilitation Implementation


As shown in figures 13 and 14, the trade facilitation implementation scores shown earlier are


negatively correlated with trade costs, regardless of whether they are direct import/export


costs from the World Bank Doing Business report or the more comprehensive trade costs


from the ESCAP-World Bank trade cost database. In other words, higher levels of trade


facilitation and paperless trade implementation appear to be clearly associated with lower


trade costs.


However, trade costs are not only influenced by implementation of trade facilitation measures


but also by other factors such as distance of a country to sea ports, transport infrastructure,



6
Out of 10 ASEAN member states, no response was received from Brunei Darussalam.


0


20


40


60


80


100


0 1 2 3 4East and Northeast
Asia-4


ASEAN-9 East and Northeast
Asia-4


SAARC-8


(.24)


(.26)


(.29) (.36)




15


the size of an economies and volume of international trade. For instance, it is well known that


the LLDCs generally have much higher trade costs than coastal countries.


Figure 13: Direct trade costs vs. trade facilitation implementation score




Source: Calculated using the data from UN ESCAP 2013/14 Survey and World Bank Doing Business.




Figure 14: Comprehensive trade costs and trade facilitation implementation score




Note: Total Trade Cost in the figure refers to trade costs of these countries with China. China is
selected because it is an important trading partner of almost all the countries in the region. More
detailed information on total trade cost is available at
http://artnet.unescap.org/databases.html#first.


Source: Calculated using the data from UN ESCAP 2013/14 Survey and ESCAP-World Bank Trade Cost
Database (http://artnet.unescap.org/databases.html#first).


0


1,000


2,000


3,000


4,000


5,000


6,000


7,000


8,000


9,000


10,000


0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100


D
ir


e
ct


C
o


st
s


Implementation of Trade Facilitation Score


0


40


80


120


160


200


0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100


C
o


m
p


re
h


e
n


si
ve


T
ra


d
e



C


o
st


s


Implementation of Trade Facilitation Score




16


In order to evaluate more accurately the impact on trade costs of implementation of trade


facilitation measures, we therefore develop a simple trade cost model, as follows:


TC = f (Imp, Dis, GDP) (1)


Where: TC: Direct Trade Costs
Imp: Trade facilitation implementation score


Dis: Distance a country to the nearest sea port
GDP: GDP of a country


It is expected that longer distance to seaport will be generally associated with high trade


costs, whilst a large GDP will be associated with lower trade costs because a large economy


(measured by GDP) often means better connectivity with international market, more


developed transport and logistics industry and more advanced infrastructure including,


among others, transport and ICT.


Direct trade costs are calculated as the average of costs for import and export of a container


found in the World Bank Doing Business report 2014. Distance of a country to the nearest


sea port is calculated according to criteria provided in the World Bank Doing Business report


2014. Data on GDP were taken from the World Bank database.


Equation (1) is first estimated using ordinary least square (OLS). The result of the regression


analysis indicates that GDP does not have a statistically significant impact on trade costs in


the region (p = 0.75). Similarly, when GDP is replaced by the volume of merchandise trade,


the variable is still statistically insignificant. 7 Therefore, the trade cost model is further


simplified as follows.


TC = f (Imp, Dis) (2)


Result of regression analysis is shown in equation (3). The relationship between trade costs


and Distance is found to be highly statistically significant (p < 0.01). Trade cost and trade


facilitation implementation was also found to be statistically significant (p = 0.12), with a 3%


improvement in trade facilitation implementation resulting in a 1.2% reduction in direct trade


costs, on average.


ln (TC) = 7.39 - 0.51 ln (Imp) + 0.34 ln (Dis) (3)


Equation (3) is used to conduct a counter-factual (what if) analysis of the impact of trade


facilitation implementation on trade costs. Two scenarios are envisaged:


Partial Implementation scenario: All trade facilitation measures are at least ‘partially’


implemented in all 29 countries.


Full Implementation scenario: All trade facilitation measures are ‘fully’ implemented in


all 29 countries.


The reductions in direct trade costs per container in each of the 29 countries under each of


the scenarios are shown in figure 15. Countries with initially low trade facilitation



7
This can probably be explained by the fact that the trade cost measure we use only captures direct at- and


behind-the-border trade costs and excludes international shipping costs, which are more directly affected by
economic size and international trade volume.




17


implementation scores – most of them LLDCs or LDCs such as Tajikistan, Bhutan and


Uzbekistan – see dramatic reductions in per container direct trade costs, as both scenarios


involve major trade facilitation reform in these countries. Advanced countries (such as


Singapore and Republic of Korea) enjoy lower trade costs only under the full implementation


scenario since they have already implemented many of the trade facilitation measures, at


least partially.




Figure 15: Reduction in direct trade costs from trade facilitation implementation in
selected Asia-Pacific countries (US$ per container)




Source: the authors




-5000 -4000 -3000 -2000 -1000 0


Singapore


Japan


Republic of Korea


Malaysia


China


Thailand


Indonesia


Viet Nam


Sri Lanka


Philippines


Samoa


India


Myanmar


Pakistan


Cambodia


Timor Leste


Bangladesh


Turkey


Russian Federation


Maldives


Lao PDR


Mongolia


Nepal


Azerbaijan


Bhutan


Kyrgyzstan


Uzbekistan


Afghanistan


Tajikistan


(US$)


Full Implementation Partial Implementation




18


Once reductions of direct trade costs per container are estimated, we proceed in calculating


the overall savings in direct trade costs for containerised goods of each country using data


on container trade of each country, as detailed in Table 4, we found that total direct cost of


containerized trade conducted (excluding air cargoes) to amount to US$ 159 billion for the 29


Asia-Pacific countries included in our study. These trade costs fall by US$ 3 billion (or 2% of


total direct trade costs) under the partial trade facilitation implementation scenario, and by


US$ 31 billion (or 20% of direct trade costs) under the full trade facilitation implementation


scenario.


Large economies capture most of the aggregate trade cost savings because of the large


volumes of cargoes typically imported to and exported from these countries. As shown in


figure 16, China is found to save US$ 14 billion in trade cost each year (or 46% of the saving


of trade costs in the region) when it implements all trade facilitation measures fully. The


second largest saver is India, which is expected to save more than US$ 2 billion a year under


the full trade facilitation implementation scenario.


Reduction in direct trade costs in LLDCs and LDCs account for a small share of total trade


cost reductions in the region. However, these savings in trade costs can be expected to have


significant impacts (benefits) on these countries given the small size of LLDCS and LDCs


economies. As shown in figure 17, ‘at least partial’ and ‘full’ implementation of trade


facilitation measures enable the 14 LLDCs and LDCs included in the study to reduce trade


costs by US$ 1 billion and US$ 3 billion annually, respectively.


On average, each of the 9 LLDCs surveyed can reduce trade costs by between US$ 79


million and US$ 204 million annually, depending on whether they achieve ‘at least partial’ or


‘full’ implementation of trade facilitation measures. For the 9 LDCs surveyed, corresponding


figures are US$ 47 million and US$ 122 million, or slightly more than half the average


savings for LLDCs.8





8
This can be explained by the fact that Timor Leste and Samoa are extremely small economies (measured by


GDP) compared with other countries surveyed in this paper, and therefore, saving from these two countries are
relatively small, which lower the average trade costs saving for the group of LDCs.




19


Table 4: Volume of import and export containers


Country International
trade


(US$ billion)


Port Traffic
(TEUs


*
)


Ratio
(containers/Int’


trade)


Containers for Im and Ex
(including estimated and


adjusted)


Afghanistan 7 n.a. 72,672
(e)




Azerbaijan 42 n.a. 469,319
(e)




Bangladesh 59 1,433,397 24,194 1,433,397
(w)




Bhutan 2 n.a. 17,863
(e)




Cambodia 19 236,986 12,343 236,986
(w)




China 3,867 139,736,156 36,137 115,223,838
(a)




India 783 9,983,940 12,758 9,983,940
(w)




Indonesia 378 9,044,435 23,904 9,044,435
(w)




Japan 1,684 18,886,713 11,213 17,245,517
(a)




Kyrgyzstan 7 n.a. 80,638
(e)




Lao PDR 5 n.a. 56,585
(e)




Malaysia 424 19,912,891 46,964 6,697,891
(a)




Maldives 2 68,722 36,789 68,722
(w)




Mongolia 11 n.a. 123,421
(e)




Myanmar 20 200,879 9,847 200,879
(w)




Nepal 7 n.a. 82,769
(e)




Pakistan 69 2,271,493 33,038 2,271,493
(w)




Philippines 117 5,264,086 44,856 4,152,586
(w)




Rep. of Korea 1,067 20,830,308 19,514 12,728,765
(a)




Russian
Federation


865 3,772,650 4,363 3,772,650
(w)




Samoa 0.42 n.a. 4,682
(e)




Singapore 788 30,727,702 38,989 3,825,712
(a)




Sri Lanka 29 4,228,000 148,003 1,099,280
(a)




Tajikistan 5 n.a. 56,984
(e)




Thailand 477 7,171,394 15,031 7,171,394
(w)




Timor Leste 0 n.a. 4,238
(e)




Turkey 389 6,061,522 15,579 6,061,522
(w)




Uzbekistan 22 n.a. 245,200
(e)




Viet Nam 228 6,324,647 27,695 6,324,647
(w)




Note: *: TEU refers to Twenty-foot equivalent unit, a standard term for calculating the number of containers



(e)


: Estimated data



(a)


: Data after adjustment



(w)


: Data taken from the World Bank Database (http://data.worldbank.org/indicator/IS.SHP.GOOD.TU).





Source: see Annex 2.





20


Figure 16: Effect of trade facilitation implementation on direct trade costs per annum of
Asia-Pacific countries




Source: the authors




-16000 -14000 -12000 -10000 -8000 -6000 -4000 -2000 0


Samoa


Timor Leste


Bhutan


Lao PDR


Maldives


Myanmar


Cambodia


Nepal


Singapore


Mongolia


Kyrgyzstan


Sri Lanka


Afghanistan


Tajikistan


Bangladesh


Azerbaijan


Pakistan


Uzbekistan


Philippines


Malaysia


Thailand


Viet Nam


Japan


Indonesia


Republic of Korea


Russian Federation


Turkey


India


China


Full Implementation Partial Implementation($US million)




21


Figure 17: Effect of trade facilitation implementation on direct trade costs per annum of
Asia-Pacific LLDCs and LDCs




Note: * Least Developed Country (LDC); ** Landlocked Developing Country (LLDC); *** both LDC and LLDC


Source: the authors




Summary and Conclusions


This paper presented the results of a regional expert survey on the status of implementation


of trade facilitation and paperless trade measures in Asia and the Pacific in 2013/14 and


estimated direct trade cost savings that would be associated with continuing implementation.


The survey results showed that countries have reportedly made good progress in


implementing a number of the trade facilitation measures under the WTO TFA, such as


publication of trade regulations and risk management. Encouragingly, implementation of


trade facilitation measures has not been limited to higher middle-income countries and has


also taken place in least developed countries and economies in transition, such as Lao PDR


and Kyrgyzstan.


-700 -600 -500 -400 -300 -200 -100 0


Samoa (*)


Timor Leste (*)


Bhutan (***)


Lao PDR (***)


Myanmar (*)


Cambodia (*)


Nepal (***)


Mongolia (**)


Kyrgyzstan (**)


Afghanistan (***)


Tajikistan (**)


Bangladesh (*)


Azerbaijan (**)


Uzbekistan (**)


(US$ million)


Full Implementation Partial Implementation




22


The paper revealed that most countries surveyed prioritized trade facilitation measures


related to automation and paperless trade for implementation, including establishment of


national (electronic) single window, over the past year. It further showed that advanced


economies had completed implementation of general trade facilitation measures, whilst


LLDCs and LDCs were lagging behind, often hindered by a lack of financial resources,


human capacity and poor inter-agency coordination.


One particularly interesting finding was that Establishment and publication of average


release times was the least fully implemented among all the general trade facilitation


measures considered in this study. This monitoring measure is relatively simple as well as


inexpensive to implement. At the same time, however, it requires a clear commitment from


government agencies at the border to be transparent and reduce the time and costs


associated with procedures. Implementation of all other trade facilitation measures included


in this study will be worth little unless they result in reduction in trade transaction time and


costs for small and large enterprises alike. Therefore, implementation of this measure and,


more generally, establishment of national trade and transport facilitation monitoring systems


will be key in achieving concrete results and correctly allocating limited resources in


developing countries to addressing the most critical procedural barriers to trade.9


Another important finding is that no country was yet fully engaged in cross-border exchange


of electronic document and information for trade facilitation. Even in the most advanced


countries, cross-border paperless trade has been limited to exchanging only selected


electronic documents on a pilot basis. Despite the potential benefits,10 achieving cross border


paperless trade remains a challenge for many countries in Asia-Pacific region. The results


are not surprising because such measures cannot be implemented unilaterally and it can


only be materialised when all countries are at the same level of development for exchanging


cross-border information and document. This further highlights the usefulness and urgency


for the countries in the region to finalize the regional arrangement for cross-border paperless


trade facilitation currently being negotiated among UN ESCAP Member States.11


The empirical analysis conducted on the basis of the survey data suggested that full


implementation of trade facilitation measures included in the study could lower direct trade


costs for containerized goods in the region by 20% on average, i.e., US$ 31 billion every


year. It also revealed that ‘full’ implementation of trade facilitation measures would enable the


14 LLDCs and/or LDCs to collectively reduce trade costs for containerized goods by US$ 3


billion every year. Unlike in the case of more advanced countries, who have already


implemented many of the trade facilitation measures, partial implementation is found to result


in significant benefit for these countries (US$ 1 billion a year).





9
Detailed discussion on how to establish such mechanism is available at


http://www.unescap.org/resources/towards-national-integrated-and-sustainable-trade-and-transport-
facilitation-monitoring.
10


See ESCAP (2014) “Assessing the Benefits of Cross-border Paperless Trade”, which finds that implementation
of cross-border paperless trade could increase trade of Asia-Pacific economies by $US 257 billion annually.
11


This is taking place as part of implementation of ESCAP Resolution 68/3. Adopted at the Sixty-eighth Session
of the Commission in May 2012, the resolution aims at “Enabling paperless trade and the cross-border
recognition of electronic data and documents for inclusive and sustainable intraregional trade facilitation”.




23


Study Limitations and Way Forward


It is important to recall that the study presented above is subject to several limitations. First,


the survey primarily relies on the knowledge of the respondents who participated in it. Every


effort was made to ensure that the respondents had the relevant expertise and/or access to


information to fill the survey. Responses were also checked against secondary data collected


from relevant Government documents and websites. However, given the scope of the


survey, the number of stakeholders involved in trade facilitation implementation and the often


dynamic nature of trade regulations and procedures in most countries, results should not be


used to draw strong country-specific conclusions, unless they are supplemented by more


detailed case studies. Direct involvement of the national trade facilitation committees –


expected to be setup in most countries of the region as part of implementation of the WTO


TFA – in the survey effort may be useful in further enhancing the quality of the data collected.


Second, the level of details on the implementation of any given trade facilitation measure


remains limited. Most measures have been evaluated based on a 3-point scale: ‘full


implementation’, ‘partial implementation’ and ‘no implementation’. The category ‘partial


implementation’ is particularly ambiguous because on the one hand, it may mean the country


is at a very preliminary stage of implementation while on the other hand, it may mean it is at


some stage very close to full implementation. This limitation should be taken into account


when interpreting the results. Efforts to more clearly define what “partial implementation”


means within the context of each trade facilitation measures should be made in future


surveys.


Third, the current regional study covers “only” 29 countries. While almost all the countries in


Asia are covered, Pacific countries including Australia and New Zealand are still missing. It is


important to keep this in mind when referring to the regional cost savings from trade


facilitation implementation presented in this study. Efforts in the future need to be geared to


the further collection of data and information on these countries.


Finally, referring to the empirical analysis included in this study, it is important to


acknowledge that, while the trade costs savings from continuing implementation of trade


facilitation measures in Asia and the Pacific noted above are already significant, actual


savings and benefits from effective implementation of trade facilitation reform can be


expected to be much larger. Indeed, indirect trade costs (e.g., loss of perishable cargoes due


to unexpected delays or long waiting times, inability for firms to participate in regional or


global production networks because of unpredictable and cumbersome import-export


procedures…) are many times larger than direct trade costs and have not been accounted


for in our analysis. Future analysis may address this by using a more comprehensive


measure of trade costs, such as the ESCAP-World Bank international trade cost estimates.




24


Annex 1. Survey on Trade Facilitation and Paperless Trade Implementation




The survey aims to assess the progress made in implementing trade facilitation and paperless trade measures in Asia and the Pacific. Special attention is given this year to


assessing implementation of measures related to availability of trade-related information, as key to enhancing transparency of trade procedures.




Given your expertise in trade facilitation, you are kindly requested to complete the survey for your own country to the best of your knowledge. You are encouraged to


verify your answers with relevant colleagues and experts before submitting them. Completed questionnaires may please be sent to Mr. Tengfei Wang, Trade Facilitation


Unit, Trade and Investment Division, UN ESCAP at wangt@un.org , copied to aptff@un.org, no later than 1 September 2013. Kindly note that we may seek additional


information and clarification from you during or after the Forum. Any questions or clarifications related to the survey may also be addressed to Mr. Wang.




SECTION A – INFORMATION ON RESPONDENT
Name : Job title : Organization :


Email : Country : Telephone (optional)




1. Your organization is (please indicate the correct response by putting an X in the corresponding brackets):




[ ] A government ministry/agency [ ] A private sector organization [ ] Others, please specify: ___




2. Is your organization the lead agency for trade facilitation (i.e., assigned by the government to implement trade facilitation reform)?




[ ] Yes [ ] No [ ] Don’t know




3. How many years of experience do you have in trade facilitation?




[ ] Less than 2 years [ ] 2 to 5 years [ ] 6 to 9 years [ ] 10 years and more




4. What is/are your particular area(s) of expertise in trade facilitation? (select all that apply)




[ ] Customs [ ] Paperless trade/IT [ ] Transit [ ] Trade logistics [ ] Others, please specify: ___




25


SECTION B – TRADE FACILITATION MEASURES
(Please indicate the correct response by putting an X in the relevant column for each measure, depending on its level of implementation in your country;


FI: Fully Implemented ; PI: Partially Implemented/Pilot Stage; NI: Not implemented; DK: Don’t know)


Trade Facilitation Measures FI PI NI DK Was progress or improvement


made over the past 12 months?


(Please specify)


Further information (e.g.,


website, date of


implementation, geographic


coverage, …)


GENERAL TRADE FACILITATION MEASURES


1. Establishment of a national trade facilitation body






2. Publication of existing import-export regulations on the Internet






3. Stakeholder consultation on new draft regulations (prior to their finalization)






4. Advance publication/notification of new regulation before their


implementation (e.g., 30 days prior)




5. Advance ruling (on tariff classification)a






6. Risk management (as a basis for deciding whether a shipment will be or not


physically inspected)b






7. Pre-arrival processing c






a An advance ruling for customs purposes can be defined as a binding official decision prior to an import or export, issued by a competent authority in writing, which provides the applicant


with a time-bound tariff classification, valuation, entitlement to preferences, or an assessment of the origin accorded to a particular good.
b
Risk means the potential for non-compliance with customs and/or other relevant laws, regulations or procedural requirements connected with the importation, exportation or transit of


goods. Risk Management means the systematic application of management procedures and practices providing customs and other relevant border agencies with the necessary information.


in order to address movements or consignments which present a risk.
c
Pre-arrival processing can be described as a procedure allowing traders to submit clearance data to Customs for advance processing and release of the goods immediately upon arrival into


the country. Release may even take place prior to the actual arrival of the goods, provided all necessary details have been communicated and screened by Customs in advance.





26






(FI: Fully Implemented; PI: Partially Implemented/Pilot Stage; NI: Not implemented; DK: Don’t know)




Trade Facilitation Measures FI PI NI DK Was progress or improvement


made over the past 12 months?


(Please specify)


Further information (e.g.,


website, date of


implementation, geographic


coverage, …)


8. Post-clearance audit d






9. Independent appeal mechanism (for traders to appeal Customs and other


relevant trade control agencies’ rulings)




10. Separation of Release from final determination of customs duties, taxes, fees


and charges




11. Establishment and publication of average release times






12. Trade facilitation measures for authorized operators e






13. Expedited shipments f






14. National single window g






d
Post-clearance audit means audit-based Customs control performed subsequent to the release of the cargo from Customs' custody. The purpose of such audits is to verify the accuracy and


authenticity of declarations and covers the control of traders' commercial data, business systems, records, books. Such an audit can take place at the premises of the trader, and may take


into account individual transactions, so-called "transaction based" audit, or cover imports and/or exports undertaken over a certain period of time, so called "company based" audit.
e
Authorized operators refers to parties involved in the international movement of goods (e.g., a manufacturer, trader, carrier, terminal operator…) that have been recognized by Customs or


other relevant authorities as having achieved high-level of compliance with trade-related laws and regulations and, therefore, are provided with simplified import, export and transit


formalities.
f
Expedited shipments refer to trade facilitation procedures allowing for expedited release of at least those goods entered through air cargo facilities to persons (e.g., express shipping


company) that apply for such faster procedure, while maintaining Customs control. The applicant typically has to cover the additional costs involved in expediting release.
g
A national single window refers to a facility that allows parties involved in trade and transport to lodge standardized information and documents with a single entry point to fulfill all


import, export, and transit-related regulatory requirements. If information is electronic, then individual data elements should only be submitted once.




27




(FI: Fully Implemented; PI: Partially Implemented/Pilot Stage; NI: Not implemented; DK: Don’t know)






Trade Facilitation Measures FI PI NI DK Was progress or improvement


made over the past 12 months?


(Please specify)


Further information (e.g.,


website, date of


implementation, geographic


coverage, …)


PAPERLESS TRADE FACILITATION


15. Electronic/automated Customs System (e.g., ASYCUDA)


16. Internet connection available to Customs and other trade control agencies at


border-crossings




17. Electronic Single Window System h




Submitted through e- single


window?


18. Electronic submission of Customs declarations [ ] yes [ ] No


[ ] don’t know


19. Electronic Application and Issuance of Trade Licenses [ ] yes [ ] No


[ ] don’t know


20. Electronic Submission of Sea Cargo Manifests [ ] yes [ ] No


[ ] don’t know


21. Electronic Submission of Air Cargo Manifests [ ] yes [ ] No


[ ] don’t know


22. Electronic Application and Issuance of Preferential Certificate of Origin [ ] yes [ ] No


[ ] don’t know


23. E-Payment of Customs Duties and Fees [ ] yes [ ] No


[ ] don’t know


24. Electronic Application for Customs Refunds [ ] yes [ ] No


[ ] don’t know


h an electronic single window refers to a single window where data and documents are exchanged in electronic form. Please refer to definition of single window




28




(FI: Fully Implemented; PI: Partially Implemented/Pilot Stage; NI: Not implemented; DK: Don’t know)


Trade Facilitation Measures FI PI NI DK Was progress or improvement


made over the past 12 months?


(Please specify)


Further information (e.g.,


website, date of


implementation, geographic


coverage, …)


TOWARDS CROSS-BORDER PAPERLESS TRADE


25. Laws and regulations for electronic transactions are in place (e.g. e-


commerce law, e-transaction law)




26. Recognised certification authority issuing digital certificates to traders to


conduct electronic transactions i




27. Engagement of your country in trade-related cross-border electronic data


exchange with other countries




28. Certificate of Origin electronically exchanged between your country and


other countries




29. Sanitary & Phyto-Sanitary Certificate electronically exchanged between your


country and other countries




30. Banks and insurers in your country retrieving letters of credit electronically


without lodging paper-based documents




BORDER AGENCY COOPERATION


31. Cooperation between agencies on the ground at the national level


32. Government agencies delegating controls to Customs authorities


33. Alignment of working days and hours with neighbouring countries at border


crossings




34. Alignment of formalities and procedures with neighbouring countries at


border crossings




TRANSIT FACILITATION


35. Information on transit fees and charges is available in paper publications


36. Information on transit fees and charges is available on customs or trade-


related website




37. Periodic review of fees/charges and adaptation to changing circumstances




29




SECTION C – TRADE-RELATED INFORMATION AVAILABILITY


(Please indicate the correct response by putting an X in the corresponding columns or brackets)




C-1. Publication and Availability of Information


1. How is the following information published?




NP: not published PP: published on paper PI: published on Internet IE: published in English (in addition to local language)


38. Customs Authorities limit the physical inspections of transit goods and use


risk assessment




39. Supporting pre-arrival processing for transit trade


40. Cooperation between agencies of countries involved in transit
i: For digital signatures to work, a trusted third party known as a Certification Authority (CA) is needed to issue digital certificates that certify the electronic identities of users and


organisations. Examples of such certification authority include Controller of Certification Authorities in Malaysia and Singapore.


NP PP PI (please provide relevant website) IE


1. Relevant trade-related legislation


2. A summary description of importation, exportation and transit procedures


3. Importation, exportation and transit procedures (including port, airport, and other entry-point


procedures




4. The forms and documents required for importation into, exportation from, or transit through the


territory of that Member




5. Applied rates of duties and taxes of any kind imposed on or in connection with importation or


exportation




6. Fees and charges imposed by customs and other border/governmental agencies on or in connection


with importation, exportation or transit




7. Rules for the classification or valuation of products for customs purposes


8. Laws, regulations and administrative rulings of general application relating to rules of origin


9. Import, export or transit restrictions or prohibitions




30




2. Who is responsible for publication of the trade information? (select all that apply)


[ ] Ministry of Trade [ ] Customs [ ] other agency, please specify ___________________ [ ] don’t know






3. How do different government departments/agencies/ministries coordinate to collect and publish trade-related data and information? Please


elaborate






C-2. Enquiry Points (Please indicate the correct response by putting an X in the corresponding brackets)


1. Has your country established one or more enquiry points to answer reasonable enquiries of on trade facilitation?


[ ] fully implemented [ ] partially implemented [ ] not implemented [ ] don’t know


2. Please provide the contact details or weblink of existing enquiry points






C-3. Customs website (Please indicate the correct response by putting an X in the corresponding brackets)


1. Has your country established a national Customs website?


10. Penalty provisions against breaches of import, export or transit formalities


11. Appeal procedures


12. Agreements or parts thereof with any country or countries relating to importation, exportation or


transit




13. Procedures relating to the administration of tariff quotas


14. Contact information on enquiry points (to answer inquiries on trade facilitation)




31


[ ] yes [ ] no [ ] don’t know


If yes, please provide Weblink: _____


2. Is rate of duties published on Customs website?


[ ] fully published ] partially published [ ] not published


3. Is information on import and export procedures published on Customs website?


[ ] fully published [ ] partially published [ ] not published


4. Procedures of border agencies


[ ] Some documents and forms are available for downloading on the Customs website.


[ ] There is no possibility to download the required documents and forms.


5. Publication of rules and examples of customs classification


[ ] Both rules and examples are published [ ] Only rules, but not examples, are published [ ] Neither rules nor examples are published




SECTION D – KEY CHALLENGES AND RECOMMENDATIONS FOR TRADE FACILITATION & PAPERLESS TRADE




1. Referring to measures listed in Sections B and C, please list up to three trade facilitation measures for which your country has made the most progress in


implementation in the last 12 months.






--


-








2. Please describe any other important trade facilitation measures/initiatives implemented in your country in the last 12 months:















32


3. What are the most serious challenges faced by your country in implementing trade facilitation measures


(Please rank the three main challenges from 1 to 3. ‘1’: the most challenging factor; ‘3’: the least challenging factor)


[ ] Lack of coordination between government agencies [ ] Lack of political will


[ ] No clearly designated lead agency [ ] Financial constraints


[ ] Limited human resource capacity [ ] Other___________




Please elaborate further:






****** End of Survey, Thank You for Your Time ******






33


Annex 2. Volume of Import and Export Containers




Data on volume of import and export containers of Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Indonesia,


Maldives, Myanmar, Pakistan, Russian Federation, Thailand, Turkey and Viet Nam in table 4


is taken from the World Bank database


(http://data.worldbank.org/indicator/IS.SHP.GOOD.TU). Data of the following countries


Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Bhutan, Kyrgyzstan, Lao PDR, Mongolia, Nepal, Samoa, Tajikistan


and Uzbekistan are indeed not available and can only be estimated. In this respect, we used


average ratio of volume of import and export containers to international trade of Myanmar


and Cambodia, as representatives of the least developed countries, to estimate volume of


import and export containers of these countries by multiplying international trade of these


countries by the ratio. We also tried to use alternative regression analysis to estimate


container trade of these countries. After comparison of different methods, we found that the


approach used in this paper yielded the most reasonable estimates.


We recognized that LLDCs often have very low ratio of goods carried in containers, therefore


the volume of import and export containers estimated in this study also includes these goods


which are not transported in containers but can be containerised, standing for the ‘equivalent’


number of containers of these goods.


Container traffic at sea ports in the World Bank database, however, overestimates the


volume of import and export containers of the following countries: China, Japan, Malaysia,


Philippines, Republic of Korea, Singapore and Sri Lanka because port traffic in these


countries includes a large number of containers for transhipment which are counted for more


than once. Adjustment was made in this paper by subtracting the volume of containers for


transhipment from the data reported by the World Bank. In so doing, we further collected


data on container throughput at major container ports from Containerisation International12


and data on ‘transhipment incidence’ prepared by Jean-Paul Rodrigue from Hofstra


University and Theo Notteboom from University of Antwerp. Data after adjustment is reported


in table 4.


We noted that containers imported to or exported from the landlocked countries might be


counted as part of throughput of the transit ports in the neighboring countries. For instance,


containers moved in and out of Mongolia may make up part of the traffic in Tianjin port in


China. However, such volume of containers is too small to have an impact on the overall


estimation. Therefore, we did not further adjust the volume of containers when calculating


regional-level trade costs and impacts.





12


Source: Containerisation International, Top 100 Ports 2013.













United Nations


Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific


Trade and Investment Division


United Nations Building


Rajadamnern Nok Avenue


Bangkok 10200, Thailand


Tel: +66 (0)2-288-2251


Fax: +66(0)2-288-1027


Email: escap-tid@un.org


Website: http://www.unescap.org/tid/





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