Publications List

Comprehensive listing of books, reports, and research on regional cooperation and integration (RCI) in South Asia and relevant global RCI publications, including publications on transport, trade facilitation, energy, and economic corridors in the SASEC region.

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World Tariff Profiles 2018

World Tariff Profiles 2018 presents comprehensive data on tariffs and non-tariff measures imposed by over 170 countries and customs territories. It provides data on tariffs imposed by these economies, in comparative tables and one-page profiles. This year's report presents a special analysis of least-developed countries’ (LDCs) use of preferential market access offered by trading partners. It highlights how LDCs benefit from preferential customs duties, and examines products eligible for preferential treatment, to show how members utilize preferential tariff schemes for LDCs and use other "competing" preferential duty arrangements.

Author: World Trade Organization

Year: 2018

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Tags: LDC, Least Developed Countries, Customs, Trade

Risk Management in Maldives: Sharing Practical Experience and Lessons Learned

Maldives is implementing reforms to improve risk management controls and to strengthen its trade environment. Risk management aims to determine which goods need to be examined in detail when entering a country. As government agencies improve service delivery, traders will benefit from reduced time to import and export goods, increased predictability of services, and greater ease of doing business. This report shows that improvements to risk management processes to deliver operational and economic gains in Maldives can be replicated across South Asia.

Author: Asian Development Bank

Year: 2018

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Tags: Customs, Maldives, SASEC, Trade

Work Plan for the Technical Assistance for SASEC Customs Reform and Modernization for Trade Facilitation under JFPR

This work plan serves as a roadmap to implement the second tranche policy actions of the SASEC Customs Reform and Modernization for Trade Facilitation Program, a policy-based loan signed between the Government of Nepal and the Asian Development Bank. Ten policy actions feature reform milestones in (i) policy and legal framework, (ii) automation, (iii) organization restructuring, and (iv) capacity development—building blocks to transform the Nepal Department of Customs into risk-based, paperless e-Customs operations, introduce customs procedures with economic impact to promote exports, and comply with WTO TFA measures and implement RKC general standards and other relevant international standards. This work plan comprises tasks designed to boost the capacity of the Customs and support delivery of its Customs Reform and Modernization Strategies and Action Plan 2017–2021. It also includes implementation arrangements, timeline, and inputs from the technical assistance (TA) attached to the Program.

Author: Nepal Ministry of Finance, Department of Customs

Year: 2017

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Tags: SASEC, Customs, ADB, Nepal, Trade Facilitation Agreement

Regional Cooperation and Integration in Asia and the Pacific: Implementation of the Operational Plan for Regional Cooperation and Integration, 2016–2020─Corporate Progress Report 2017

Regional cooperation and integration (RCI) is a valuable means for attaining national development goals. This report reviews ADB’s progress in implementing its Operational Plan for Regional Cooperation and Integration, 2016–2020, and identifies areas for improvement. It takes a close look at progress in connectivity, competitiveness, and regional public goods and collective action through projects such as the Nepal: SASEC Customs Reform and Modernization for Trade Facilitation Program.

Author: Asian Development Bank

Year: 2017

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Tags: Nepal, Energy, Trade, Customs, Myanmar, Regional Cooperation, Regional Integration, SASEC, Trade Facilitation

Customs Clearance Procedure for Relief Materials 2017

This relief consignment procedure published by the Nepal Department of Customs act as guide for the import of relief materials in response to emergencies and disaster situations in Nepal. It identifies items that can and cannot be imported, and conditions for import, and details procedures for Customs clearance, including declaration and valuation. It also discusses provisions for temporary import or export of relief goods.

Author: Department of Customs, Ministry of Finance, Nepal

Year: 2017

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Tags: Customs, Nepal, Trade Facilitation, Temporary admission

Customs Reform and Modernization Strategies and Action Plan 2017-2021

The Customs Reform and Modernization Strategies and Action Plan 2017-2021 of the Nepal Department of Customs (DOC) aims to serve as a blueprint of Customs reform for the next four years, with a vision to support Nepal's initiatives toward economic and social prosperity. With Nepal seeing continuous increase of cross-border trade over the last decades, this Plan is being implemented to align Nepal toward international standards. It outlines the DOC's vision, mission, guiding principles, as well as strategies, such as expediting legitimate trade facilitation and enhancing Customs automation and data management, to create a conducive environment for seamless movement of cargo traffic to and from the borders, and help in lowering transaction costs through greater transport facilitation.

Author: Nepal Department of Customs

Year: 2017

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Tags: Customs, Customs Valuation, Nepal, Trade Facilitation, Import, Export, Trade, Revised Kyoto Convention

World Tariff Profiles 2016

World Tariff Profiles, a joint publication of the World Trade Organization (WTO), International Trade Centre, and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, provides comprehensive information on tariff parameters imposed by the 164 WTO members—including Bangladesh, India, Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, and Sri Lanka— and other countries and Customs territories with available data on imports—including Bhutan, a WTO Observer. It contains individual country tariff profiles, and statistics on non-tariff measures in effect as of December 2015. This 2016 edition also contains a discussion of the 2017 Harmonized System, which will affect around 15% of goods traded globally.

Author: World Trade Organization, International Trade Centre, and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development

Year: 2016

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Tags: Tariff, Trade Facilitation, Customs

Competitiveness of South Asia’s Container Ports: A Comprehensive Assessment of Performance, Drivers, and Costs

As a result of inefficiencies in South Asia’s container ports, the average cost of exporting or importing a container in the region is more than double that in East Asia. Better port logistics could help increase trade, diversify exports, attract more foreign direct investment, and spur economic growth. As container traffic continues to grow in South Asia, the best way to improve port performance is by increasing productivity. This report examines the performance of the 14 largest container ports in the region, identifying key drivers of port performance and examining differences in performance across ports.

Author: Matías Herrera Dappe and Ancor Suárez-Alemán

Year: 2016

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Tags: Customs, Economic Growth, FDI, Infrastructure, Investment, South Asia, Trade, WB

ICC Recommendations on Authorized Economic Operators

The World Customs Organization (WCO) developed the WCO Framework of Standards to Secure and Facilitate Global Trade (SAFE), of which the Authorized Economic Operator (AEO) program is an integral part, referring to manufacturers, importers, exporters, brokers, carriers, consolidators, intermediaries, ports, airports, terminal operators, integrated operators, warehouses, distributors, and others that have been approved by or on behalf of a national Customs administration as complying with WCO or equivalent supply chain security standards. AEO accreditation provides several benefits, including immediate release procedures self-assessment, and relief from guarantee/bond requirements. With AEO programs globally on the rise, the International Chamber of Commerce has put together several recommendations for successful AEO programs that lead to tangible benefits and process improvements for companies of all sizes and sectors, without limiting opportunities for non-AEO traders.

Author: ICC Commission on Customs and Trade Facilitation

Year: 2016

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Tags: Customs, Trade Facilitation, WCO

Removing Obstacles to Low Value Consignments (Trade Insights: Issue No. 18)

Diffusion of digital technology and digitalization of products and services are allowing developing country small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)—which generate the majority of employment, especially in landlocked developing countries such as Nepal—to become globally competitive and participate in international trade. However, several barriers continue to hinder developing country SMEs to maximize benefits of cross-border digital trade. This publication recommends critical actions, including raising de-minimis thresholds; reducing Customs document requirements; developing low-cost and efficient transportation, delivery services, telecommunications and broadband networks; and establishing a legal framework that enhances conduct of online transactions. Additionally, neighbors in the region must coordinate and work together to build the required infrastructure, and to allow for mutual recognition or harmonization of systems, procedures, enforcement mechanisms and laws affecting digital trade.

Author: Pascale Bourquin and Adam Heal

Year: 2016

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Tags: Small and Medium Enterprise, Nepal, ICT, Customs, Trade Facilitation

Regional Organizations Cooperation Mechanism for Trade Facilitation (ROC-TF) Newsletter: Issue X, August 2016

This issue highlights the framework agreement on cross-border paperless trade facilitation adopted by the United Nations Regional Commission for Asia-Pacific, which will facilitate the exchange of electronic trade data and documents between participating United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) member states, and the 2016 Global Facilitation Partnership for Transportation and Trade forum. The latterencourages the private sector to mobilize expertise in support of trade facilitation reforms to develop effective trade facilitation solutions for small and medium-sized enterprises. The Newsletter also features SASEC-supported initiatives, including the launch of the new Maldives Customs Service training module on Customs valuation, as well as data collection for establishing the Trade and Transport Facilitation Monitoring baseline in Bhutan. The ROC-TF newsletter is a biannual publication featuring updates, publications and forthcoming activities of regional and international organizations working on trade facilitation in the Asia-Pacific region, including the Asian Development Bank, the World Customs Organization, and UNESCAP.

Author: United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific

Year: 2016

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Tags: Trade Facilitation, ICT, Maldives, Customs, SASEC, Customs Valuation, Bhutan

Facilitating Trade between India and Sri Lanka

India and Sri Lanka have duty-free access to each other’s markets through the India-Sri Lanka Free Trade Agreement. Yet in recent years, traders from both countries have rarely utilized the agreement. This study aims to identify ways to improve importing and exporting under the agreement. It examines key issues and how to address them through the education of traders and Customs officials on goods eligible for concessions, facilitating testing and certification, streamlining Customs procedures, and establishing help desks. The study also offers recommendations in the areas of trade facilitation that may be incorporated in future negotiated agreements.

Author: Suwendrani Jayaratne and Janaka Wijayasiri

Year: 2016

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Tags: Sri Lanka, India, Exports, Trade, Customs

CPD Working Paper 110 – Trade and Transport Facilitation in Bangladesh: An Audit of the State of Play

This publication provides a detailed picture of the status of specific measures for trade and transport facilitation in Bangladesh. It identifies measures already adopted, including strengthening of trade-related institutions, improvements in Customs processes and procedures, and reduction of non-trade barriers, highlighting areas for improvement and identifying existing gaps, to allow for proposals to meet these gaps. The audit undertaken aims to support policy-makers in Bangladesh in mobilizing the financial resources required to build a modern and efficient trade and transport facilitation system.

Author: Mustafizur Rahman, Khaleda Akhter and Naimul Gani Saif

Year: 2015

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Tags: Trade Facilitation, Bangladesh, Customs

Joint UNRCs Trade Facilitation and Paperless Trade Implementation Survey 2015: Global Report

This Report features results of the first UNRCs Joint Survey on Trade Facilitation and Paperless Trade Implementation, providing an overview of the current state of trade facilitation implementation in 119 economies across 8 regions worldwide. Though this Joint Survey finds that global average implementation rate of trade facilitation measures considered in the report stands at 52.9%, South Asia ranks below 40%. In the authorized operators and establishment and publication of average release times - categorized under the formalities measures - South Asia ranks below 10%. However, the region fares better in the institutional and cooperation measures, in particular with the recommendation to establish National Trade Facilitation Committees, with this measure most implemented in South Asia. The Report ranks India as the region's top performer in implementation of trade facilitation measures.

Author: United Nations Regional Commission

Year: 2015

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Tags: Trade Facilitation, South Asia, Customs

Nepali-language Version of Revised Kyoto Convention

The Revised Kyoto Convention is a blueprint for Customs reform, and the Nepali-language version will assist Nepal’s Department of Customs to align its Customs Act and associated regulations with RKC standards, enhance efficiency and effectiveness of the Customs administration, and facilitate trade through more transparent Customs procedures. The standards of the RKC in the General Annex and Specific Annexes include duty collection, Customs control, information technology usage, and Customs clearance, among others.

Author: World Customs Organization

Year: 2015

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Tags: Nepal, WCO, Customs

World Tariff Profiles 2014

This statistical yearbook devoted to market access for goods contains a comprehensive compilation of tariff parameters for each of the 160 World Trade Organization members, plus a number of other countries and customs territories where data is available. Each country profile presents information on tariffs imposed by each economy on its imports, including an analysis of market access conditions in its major export markets. Statistics for all countries allow easy comparisons between countries and sectors, as well as between bound and applied tariffs.

Author: World Trade Organization, International Trade Centre, and United Nations Conference on Trade and Development

Year: 2014

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Tags: WTO, Customs, Tariff, Bangladesh, India, Maldives, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Transport, Tariffs, Trade

Regional Transit Agreement in South Asia: An Empirical Investigation

This discussion paper published by the South Asia Watch on Trade, Economics and Environment assesses the potential gains of a sub-regional transit arrangement and the removal of other border-trade barriers, particularly the eastern South Asia sub-region (Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal). It also discusses the link between transit and trade flows, provides profiles of intra-regional transit trade and current transit arrangements in South Asia, and identifies efficient regional transit corridors using linear programming or the Data Envelopment Analysis model.

Author: Prabir De and Arvind Kumar

Year: 2014

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Tags: South Asia, Trade, Transport, Economics, Economic Corridor, SASEC, SAARC, UNESCAP, Customs, Harmonisation, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Maldives, Sri Lanka

SASEC Trade Facilitation Strategic Framework 2014-2018

The South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation (SASEC) Trade Facilitation Strategic Framework 2014-2018 builds on the momentum of member countries over recent years in forging ahead with many significant improvements to facilitate, and ultimately increase, trade in the subregion and with the rest of the world. It supports the mission of the SASEC Transport and Trade Facilitation Strategy “to promote the prosperity of the subregion by facilitating the efficient movement of trade across the borders”, and focuses on five priority areas: customs modernization and harmonization; standards and conformity assessment strengthening; cross-border facilities improvement; through-transport facilitation; and institution and capacity building.

Author: Asian Development Bank

Year: 2014

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Tags: SASEC, Trade Facilitation, Regional Cooperation, Transport, Trade, Customs, Standards, Harmonisation, Regional Integration, ADB, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Sri Lanka, South Asia

Estimating the Benefits of Cross-Border Paperless Trade

Cross-border paperless trade is trade that occurs on the basis of electronic communications and has been part of customs reform efforts in a variety of countries. Increased implementation of cross-border paperless trade is high on the trade facilitation agenda in Asia-Pacific. This report considers six measures to calculate estimates of possible economic benefits of cross-border paperless trade through counterfactual simulations using 2013 data and simple econometric models. Simulation results reveal that this new generation of trade facilitation can significantly reduce trade costs and boost intra- and extra-regional trade in the region. Partial implementation of these measures can lead to an export increase of $36 billion annually. Total direct cost savings across all trade is about $1 billion per annum for partial reform, and $7 billion for full implementation.

Author: United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific

Year: 2014

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Tags: Trade Facilitation, Trade, Asia-Pacific, UNESCAP, Customs, Export, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Sri Lanka

Trade and Investment Barriers Affecting International Production Networks in India

Recognizing India as an outlier in development of international production networks with the lowest participation among Asian countries, this study investigates the reason for India’s lackluster participation in production-sharing networks. Using desk work, field surveys, and interviews, an analysis is adopted with three comparator countries in the region that have been successful in production-sharing arrangements as well as industrial growth – China, Malaysia, and Thailand. It further describes foreign direct investment inflows into India, analyzes behind-the-border investment environment, and provides recommendations to improve investment climate and hasten the pace of manufacturing development in India.

Author: Anwarul Hoda and Durgesh Kumar Rai

Year: 2014

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Tags: India, Trade, Production Networks, Investment, Thailand, Manufacturing, Customs, Economic Corridor, Energy, Trade Facilitation, Transport

Policies to Enhance Trade Facilitation in South Asia and Southeast Asia

This Asian Development Bank Institute publication identifies the state of play of trade facilitation and provides an overview of intra- and inter-regional trade in South and Southeast Asia. It highlights key challenges and bottlenecks to effective trade facilitation, ranging from the lack of expert human resources such as information technology specialists in small landlocked countries (Bhutan and Nepal), to the high border transaction costs and severe congestion faced at border crossing points, and the lack of effective dialogue on bilateral enhancement of trade facilitation. Regional initiatives such as the South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation Program aim to address these challenges through customs modernization and harmonization, automation, and the use of international best practices in border procedures.

Author: Anthony Bayley

Year: 2014

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Tags: South Asia, Trade Facilitation, Trade Policy, Southeast Asia, ADB, ICT, Bhutan, Nepal, SASEC, Customs

Trade Facilitation and Paperless Trade Implementation

This paper reports survey findings on progress in implementing various trade facilitation and paperless trade measures made by 29 countries in Asia and the Pacific, including six SASEC member countries. Factors considered include pre-arrival clearance, post-clearance audit, National Single Window, and authorized operator programmes. The survey reveals that while countries have prioritized automation and paperless trade at the regional level, there is an urgent need for regional arrangements that will facilitate cross-border exchange of trade-related electronic documents and information to enable smoother trade facilitation.

Author: Tengfei Wang and Yann Duval

Year: 2014

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Tags: Trade Facilitation, Regional Cooperation, Trade, Asia-Pacific, SASEC, Single Window, UNESCAP, Customs, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Sri Lanka

WCO News: WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement

WCO News is a biannual newsletter of the World Customs Organization (WCO). This issue, released in June 2014, focuses on the World Trade Organization's (WTO) Agreement on Trade Facilitation. WCO's commitment to its implementation is highlighted and linkages between articles of the Agreement and WCO instruments and tools are explored. Also included is a feature on the benefits Authorized Economic Operator programmes bring supply chain companies.

Author: World Customs Organization

Year: 2014

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Tags: Trade Facilitation, WCO, WTO, Bangladesh, Customs, India, Sri Lanka

Impacts of Trade Facilitation Measures on Poverty and Inclusive Growth: Case Studies from Asia - A Study by the Asia-Pacific Research and Training Network on Trade

This book addresses the gap between trade facilitation and poverty reduction and contains a compilation of specific case studies that explores the linkages between trade facilitation measures and poverty. It also presents cross-country analysis that examines inequality in low- and middle-income countries. Other chapters discuss economic corridors and microfinance development as trade facilitation measures and examine access to trade facilitation by export-oriented micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises. It also explores barriers to international entrepreneurship for the vegetable business in Bangladesh. Finally, it offers a comprehensive evaluation of the effectiveness of Export Processing Zones (EPZs) on poverty reduction.

Author: Ravi Ratnayake, Rajan Sudesh Ratna, Martina Francesca Ferracane and Yann Duval

Year: 2013

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Tags: Trade Facilitation, Bangladesh, Trade, Poverty Reduction, Economic Corridor, Small and medium enterprises, India, SAARC, Customs, Pakistan

Designing and Implementing Trade Facilitation in Asia and the Pacific

This reference book was published to support the implementation of trade facilitation measures and reforms in Asia and the Pacific. It includes operational guidance on assessing the status of trade facilitation, the measures and reforms needed, how to design trade facilitation initiatives, and how to implement them at national and regional levels. The book is intended to assist policy makers, practitioners, and economists by bridging the gap between theory and practice. The revised 2013 version includes updated statistical figures and data, information on actual trade facilitation policies and practices, and the most recent research on trade facilitation.

Author: Asian Development Bank / United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific

Year: 2013

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Tags: Trade Facilitation, Regional Cooperation, Regional Integration, Trade Policy, Economic Corridor, Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures, Technical Barriers to Trade, Revised Kyoto Convention, Customs, Customs Valuation, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Maldives, Sri Lanka, Services

Asia-Pacific Trade Facilitation Forum: Survey on Trade Facilitation and Paperless Trade

Conducted jointly by the Asian Development Bank and the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, this survey provides a status snapshot of trade facilitation in place across 26 countries of the region, including progress towards establishment of national trade facilitation committees, implementation of risk management measures, development of national single windows, and steps taken to move toward paperless trade. It further examines specific issues and challenges in these areas of South East Asian countries, and provides recommendations for improvement.

Author: ADB and UNESCAP

Year: 2012

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Tags: Trade Facilitation, Paperless Trade, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Maldives, Sri Lanka, Customs, Transport Facilitation, Myanmar, National Single Window

Returned 26 publications