Ninth SASEC Customs Subgroup Meeting
30 Sep 2020
The Ninth SASEC Customs Subgroup Meeting was convened virtually by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) on 30 September 2020. It was attended by heads of Customs and other senior customs officials from SASEC member countries. Mr. Ronald Butiong, Director, South Asia Regional Cooperation and Operations Coordination Division, ADB, moderated the Meeting.
- Presented the trade facilitation component of the Action Plan of SASEC Initiatives (APSI) 2021-2023. The countries noted that the trade facilitation component is comprehensive and is aligned with their own countries’ customs reforms and modernization efforts;
- Discussed the responses of customs administrations to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. The customs administrations shared their experiences in dealing with the pandemic, including challenges faced and trade facilitation measures they adopted to keep the cross-border supply chains operational;
- Discussed activities under ADB's technical assistance support for the SASEC trade facilitation sector, including the implementation of an Authorized Economic Operators’ Program in Maldives and the Post-clearance Audit System in Bhutan and Sri Lanka; and
- Presented new initiatives in response to the COVID-19 health crisis, including (i) use of new technologies for trade facilitation and compliance, such as e-commerce and paperless trade; (ii) adoption of modern practices in border management; (iii) supply chain mapping; and (iv) leveraging of digital technology under the “new normal”.
SASEC customs administrations agreed to work together to further advance the implementation of trade facilitation reforms in the subregion. They expressed appreciation for ADB's continued support in promoting trade facilitation initiatives through the SASEC Program.