ASEAN Member States Sign Arrangement to Facilitate Trade Customs Clearance

JAKARTA, 29 September 2023 – All 10 Customs Administrations of ASEAN Member States (AMS) signed the Mutual Recognition Arrangement (MRA) of their respective Authorised Economic Operator (AEO) Programmes. The ASEAN AEO MRA (AAMRA) seeks to provide a predictable and transparent trading environment among AMS.

AAMRA provides assurance that the certification standards that the AMS customs administrations apply within their respective AEO programmes are compatible and in accordance with the principles and standards of the World Customs Organisation (WCO) SAFE Framework of Standards to Secure and Facilitate Global Trade (SAFE Framework). Certified AMS AEOs will enjoy faster cargo clearance and priority treatment for cargo inspection for their goods traded within ASEAN. These benefits are expected to increase savings arising from improved predictability of cargo movement.

In line with the goal of the ASEAN Economic Community Blueprint 2025 to achieve a highly integrated and cohesive ASEAN economy, the AAMRA could potentially enhance trade by reducing regulatory burden and facilitating the movement of goods within ASEAN.

Secretary-General of ASEAN Dr Kao Kim Hourn highlighted, “The AAMRA demonstrates AMS’ strong cooperation to enable the seamless movement of goods within ASEAN in order to enhance intra-ASEAN trade and promote economic development and growth.”

“It will play a vital role in strengthening supply chain connectivity as businesses would enjoy increased cost savings due to reduced administrative burdens and better predictability of cargo movement,” he added.

Upon finalising their domestic administrative procedures, six ASEAN Member States, namely Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, and Singapore will start a six-month pilot implementation of the AAMRA by the end of 2023, with the aim of full implementation by the third quarter of 2024. The remaining four AMS are expected to commence during the second pilot implementation in 2024.

The AAMRA text can be found here.


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