The digital platform meant to simplify customs clearance in ASEAN went live after 13 years of continuous effort among member countries since their signing on ASEAN Single Window (ASW) Protocol in 2005. Despite the fact that the exchange of ATIGA form D is operational only between 5 ASEAN member countries, namely Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam, the further enlarged ASW impact is very promising for businesses dealing with cross border trade in the region, leading to more paperless trade regime, shorten cargo clearance processing time and ultimately an improved trade facilitation.
Below is an excerpt from ASEAN Single Window Office website (http://asw.asean.org/) on what the ASW is;
The ASEAN Single Window (ASW) is a regional initiative that connects and integrates National Single Window (NSW) of ASEAN Member States. The ASW’s objective is to expedite cargo clearance and promote ASEAN economic integration by enabling the electronic exchange of border documents among ASEAN Member States.Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand are now using the ASW to exchange electronic certificates of origin. Once the Protocol for the Legal Framework to implement the ASEAN Single Window is fully ratified, the electronic certificates will be used for assigning preferential tariff rates under ATIGA and further expedite the customs clearance of goods between the participating ASEAN Member States in the ASW. Brunei and Vietnam are expected to join the ASW by mid-2017. Other ASEAN Member States are at the different stages of preparation and will join thereafter when they are ready.ASEAN Member States are working to expand the ASW to support the exchange of export declaration information through the ASEAN Customs Declaration Document (ACDD) data to support Member States’ Risk Management System and exchange of electronic Phyto-sanitary certificates. In the future, the ASW may also be used to exchange other documents such as cargo documentation, shipping manifests and other port or transport documents.
Going forward, we can hope to see other members including Cambodia will join the club and have their own national single window ready to fully connect and integrate with each other; only then ASW will fulfill its fullest potential.