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Securing and reducing the costs of trade. Asia-LAC Customs Collaboration.

Asia-Pacific and Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) include some of the world’s fastest growing countries, and the two regions have become powerful engines for the world economy. Bilateral trade between the two regions has grown by a factor of six since 2000, adding to the pressure to lower the cost of moving goods across borders, improve customs efficiency, and ensure the security of the supply chain.

Responding to these challenges and opportunities, customs authorities in Asia and LAC are actively exploring opportunities for cooperation and introducing customs modernization and trade facilitation and security measures. Customs managers from LAC met with their counterparts in China (2011) and Korea (2012) to exchange experiences and lessons learned on customs systems and procedures such as risk analysis and Authorized Economic Operator Programs. The ADB and IDB, in collaboration with the World Customs Organization, are supporting programs to further broaden and enhance collaboration between the customs administrations of both regions with the ultimate goal of reducing the cost of doing business and increasing the security of trade.

It is in this context that the ADB and IDB, together with the World Customs Organization (WCO) and Panama Customs, organized a joint dialogue on Efficient and Secure Trade for Shared Prosperity, which took place in Panama April 4-5, 2013. This event brought together for the first time customs leaders from both regions to discuss common challenges and strategies in order to maximize the benefits of trade. Representatives of more than 100 customs agencies from 54 countries in the two regions attended the meeting.

Asia and the Pacific and the Americas: Customs Leaders’ Partnership Dialogue, Panama 2013

Available documents:

The Customs Dialogue has helped give impetus to negotiations for an authorized economic operator (AEO) mutual recognition agreement between Korea and Mexico. A delegation of Korean customs officials met with Mexico Customs in September 2013to continue discussions for a mutual recognition agreement which would be the first ever for a Latin American country. Korean officials had the opportunity to visit several AEO Mexican companies to observe in detail how the security requirements are implemented. Both administrations discussed security issues and the procedures employed by Mexico customs. The meeting was very successful and both administrations realized that they are implementing the same strict security standards as recommended by the WCO.

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