SPEECH BY H.E. LE LUONG MINH
SECRETARY-GENERAL OF ASEAN
AT THE OFFICIAL ANNOUNCEMENT CEREMONY
OF THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE NATIONAL SINGLE WINDOW AND TECHNICAL CONNECTION TO THE ASEAN SINGLE WINDOW OF VIET NAM
8 SEPTEMBER 2015, HA NOI, VIET NAM
Yours Excellency Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung,
Yours Excellency Deputy Prime Minister Vu Van Ninh,
Excellencies Ministers, Ambassadors
Ladies and Gentlemen,
As Viet Nam is celebrating the 20th anniversary of the country’s membership of ASEAN, today’s ceremony official announcing the implementation of Viet Nam National Single Window and its connection to the ASEAN Single Window signifies its enduring commitment to ASEAN’s economic integration and Community building process.
Connecting Viet Nam’s National Single Window to the ASEAN Single Window today is specially fitting as by the end of this year we will be realizing the ASEAN Community.
As a major pillar of the three-pillared ASEAN Community, the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) to be established will transform ASEAN into a single market and production base, a highly competitive economic region, a region of equitable economic development, and a region fully integrated into the global economy.
Apart from the removal of tariffs and nontariff barriers, establishing the ASEAN Single Window together with integrating and harmonizing customs procedures, as trade facilitation measures, are key to the free flow of goods which is essential for the achievement of the objectives of creating a single market, developing production networks and enhancing ASEAN’s capacity to serve as a global production center or as a part of the global supply chain.
The implementation of the ASEAN Single Window will not only promote the harmonization of standards and conformance procedures, including enhancing intra-ASEAN preferential rules of origin procedures, but can also facilitate coordination and partnership among customs administrations, the integration and transparency of customs procedures, the sharing of customs intelligence for improved and modernized risk management, and other concrete goals of the ASEAN Customs Vision 2015. As a platform which is designed to expedite cargo clearance and the release of shipments/goods, reduce transaction time and costs, and improve law enforcement at the border, the ASEAN Single Window will not only enhance trade efficiency and competitiveness, but also facilitate ASEAN’s participation in global and regional supply chains, key to the realization of the ASEAN Economic Community.
National Single Windows are prerequisites of the ASEAN Single Window and play a vital role in meeting the trade facilitation objectives of governments which are to reduce clearance times at the border.
National Single Windows enable single submission of data and information, single and synchronous processing of data and information and single decision-making for customs clearance of cargo.
Nevertheless, while the objectives of implementing National Single Windows are the same for the Member States, their regulatory requirements do differ.
The objective of the ASEAN Single Windows is simply to provide an environment for National Single Windows to operate and integrate.
In the ASEAN Single Window, Member States have agreed to implement an advanced form of Single Window integration i.e. the one that generates full seamless connectivity between National Single Windows.
This will facilitate trade, lesser bureaucratic burdens for traders, optimize government staff and budget and increase competitiveness.
The implementation of the National Single Windows and the ASEAN Single Window facilitates the streamlining of the processes and procedures, enhances coordination among the related government agencies and stakeholders in the private sector.
It also fosters the predictability and transparency of trade-related rules, regulations and procedures.
It provides faster, easier, more predictable and more cost-effective movement of goods.
The benefits of implementing the ASEAN Single Window will become more and more evident over the next few years as the Member States embark on trade facilitation improvement programmes and implement their National Single Windows.
When all ten National Single Windows have integrated through the ASEAN Single Window, ASEAN is expected to be the easiest region in the world to trade with.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
While ASEAN Member States have been working towards the implementation of the full-fledged ASEAN Single Window Pilot Project Component 2, which started in April 2015, its testing and live implementation has been targeted for the end of this year.
The Protocol on the Legal Framework to implement the ASEAN Single Window, which governs the legal aspects of the eventual implementation of the single window across the region, has recently been signed by all ASEAN Member States.
The full-fledged ASEAN Single Window Pilot Project Component 2 outlines the transition plan with exchange-ready ASEAN Member States to commence its implementation in stages with the exchange of the ASEAN Trade in Goods Agreement (ATIGA) Form D.
Viet Nam’s participation in the current end-to-end test of the ASEAN Single Window’s enabling infrastructure in the exchange of the ATIGA Form D, together with the other four exchange-ready Member States- Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand-is a big motivation for the remaining Member States to join the ASEAN Single Window live operation.
It will confirm the ability of a Member State to comply with the national level requirements in a limited time and fulfill its commitment at the regional level, contributing to the successful conclusion of the implementation of the full-fledged ASEAN Single Window Pilot Project, enhancing trade efficiency and competitiveness in the region in general and in Viet Nam in particular, marking a milestone in ASEAN’s process of regional economic integration and Community building and consolidation.