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Sunday, August 18, 2019

APEC Customs meeting to agree to measures to facilitate trade and e-commerce

Eighteen economies are meeting in Puerto Varas to generate tools to contribute to the Asia-Pacific Region’s economic development.

Puerto Varas, 8/18/2019.- Work has got underway for the Sub-Committee on Customs Procedures (SCCP) during the Third Senior Officials’ Meeting (SOM3) of the 2019 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum, which is taking place in Chile’s Los Lagos Region. The Sub-Committee will address an extensive list of topics related to contributing to the economic development of all the participating economies.

The SCCP meetings are being chaired by Chile’s National Customs Service. Eighteen of the 21 APEC economies are participating in the meetings, with representatives discussing and agreeing to the implementation of a wide range of measures to contribute to the correct implementation of the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA), e-commerce and the “Integration 4.0” initiative proposed by Chile as a priority for APEC Chile 2019.

At the beginning of the meetings, Chile’s National Customs Director, José Ignacio Palma, stressed that, “we need to achieve a minimum level of consensus and generate tangible outcomes from all of the work that is being done. These projects include the Transit Guidelines, which will allow us to facilitate trade and highlight the strategic role that customs agencies play in connectivity and foreign trade.”

The Sub-Committee on Customs Procedures is also working to encourage the inclusion of SMEs in the dynamic of foreign trade and to deepen collaboration between the customs services of all the APEC economies.

The issues being addressed in this context are so important that two major activities have been developed this year in the context of the SCCP. The first enabled the public and private sectors to exchange experiences and discuss the integration of SMEs into Authorized Economic Operator programs, while these second facilitated discussion about Cross-Border E-Commerce and the challenges that it poses to customs regulatory systems. Each event attracted some 150 people per day.

 

The initiatives that the National Customs Service is promoting in this forum are aligned with the guidelines of the Chilean government, and specifically those that the Treasury Ministry is promoting in the area of trade facilitation, such as the development of the Integrated Foreign Trade System, the regulation of e-commerce and the Authorized Economic Operator Program.

The 21 economies that form part of the 2019 APEC Forum together account for 40% of the world’s population, 60% of global GDP and 50% of total foreign trade. The 21 members of APEC are Australia; Brunei Darussalam; Canada; Chile; China; Hong Kong, China; Indonesia; Japan; South Korea; Malaysia; Mexico; New Zealand; Papua New Guinea; Peru; the Philippines; Russia; Singapore; Chinese Taipei; Thailand; the United States; and Viet Nam.

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