THE 32nd ASEAN DIRECTORS-GENERAL OF CUSTOMS MEETING
Pattaya, Thailand, 6 – 8 June 2023
1. The 32nd Meeting of the ASEAN Customs Directors-General (DGs) was held on 6 – 8 June 2023, in Pattaya, Thailand. The Meeting was chaired by Mrs. Kitjaluck Srinuchsart, Deputy Director-General of Thai Customs Department, and attended by 10 ASEAN Member States (AMS) and the ASEAN Secretariat.
2. The ASEAN DGs of Customs commended the following groups for the achievements and progress on the implementation of the Strategic Plans of Customs Development (SPCDs) 2021 – 2025 and the ASEAN Single Window.
- ASEAN Coordinating Committee on Customs (CCC);
- Customs Procedures and Trade Facilitation Working Group (CPTFWG);
- Customs Enforcement and Compliance Working Group (CECWG);
- Customs Capacity Building Working Group (CCBWG); and the
- ASEAN Single Window Steering Committee (ASWSC).
3. The ASEAN DGs welcomed the implementation of the ASEAN Harmonised Tariff Nomenclature (AHTN) 2022 by all AMS and encouraged AMS to provide their full support for the next round of AHTN review, and to implement AHTN 2027 in a timely manner.
4. The ASEAN DGs commended all AMS for their successful implementation of a National AEO Programme and was pleased that nine AMS, namely Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Viet Nam had signed the ASEAN AEO Mutual Recognition Arrangement (AAMRA) Text. The Meeting urged the remaining AMS to intensify their efforts to sign the text by mid-2023. The Meeting further urged ready AMS to commence the pilot implementation of the AAMRA by 2023.
5. The Meeting endorsed the Feasibility Report on Implementing Simplified Customs Procedures for Low-Value Shipments (LVS) and noted that an Executive Summary of the Report was shared with the Joint Business Councils (JBC). The Meeting encouraged AMS to share their best practices and experiences in implementing their national LVSs and strive to provide more facilitation or simplified customs procedures for air shipments within the LVS category.
6. The Meeting endorsed “the Guideline on Cooperation between Customs and Tax Authority”, which aims to set out general and comprehensive principles for coordination between Customs and Tax authorities. The implementation of the joint analysis, joint audit, and other joint programs between Customs Administration and Tax Authority as specified in the guideline is encouraged at the national level in the respective AMS.
7. The Meeting endorsed “the Framework of ASEAN Customs Integrity”, which serves as a reference guide for ASEAN Customs administrations to design programmes to promote transparency and safeguard the integrity of customs officers. AMS are encouraged to develop customs integrity programme at the domestic level based on the framework.
8. The Meeting also endorsed “the Guideline for ASEAN Customs Regional Experts Selection Process” which aims to improve the competencies of customs officers and further strengthen cooperation among AMS in providing training for one another.
9. The Meeting welcomed the live operation of the ASEAN Customs Declaration Document (ACDD) among nine (9) AMS, namely Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Viet Nam and requested the remaining AMS to join the live operation by 2023. The Meeting urged AMS to increase the exchange of ACDD among AMS in order to achieve the goal of this live operation. The Meeting also commended the live operation of the exchange of e-Phyto Certificates between Indonesia and Thailand and encouraged other AMS to intensify their efforts to join the live operation soon.
10. The Meeting held consultation sessions with Australia, China, Japan, the Republic of Korea and the World Customs Organisation (WCO) to exchange best practices and experiences on customs-related issues, including best practices in relation to Authorised Economic Operators, Trade Facilitation, Customs cooperation on enforcement matters and in the area of smuggling, digitalisation of customs procedures, Green Customs, Customs automation, Cross-border E-commerce, Low-Value Consignments, Plastic Waste Management and Sustainability. The Meeting looked forward to deepening cooperation with customs Dialogue Partners and the WCO in these areas.
11. The Meeting also held consultation sessions with private sector representatives from the EU-ASEAN Business Council and the US-ASEAN Business Council. The Meeting noted the issues and suggestions by the private sector and would work closely with them to improve trade flows and enhance the resilience of supply chains.