Poor customs clearance a problem for some ASEAN countries

Updated: 2015-09-20 16:14

By Fan Feifei

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Customs clearance is a major problem facing development between China and Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam, according to a report issued by the China-ASEAN Business and Investment Summit Secretariat during the 12th China-ASEAN Expo.

According to a survey, 64.4 percent of enterprises consider customs clearance has the greatest impact on trade and inconsistent policies, regulations, standards and poor efficiency in import and export procedures block customs clearance.

"The appliance of one-stop inspection under 'Greater Mekong Sub-region (GMS) Cross-border Transport Agreement' requires mutual recognition of examination results and cross-border law enforcement, which conflicts with the current customs laws and regulations of China," said Ding Yuanlong, deputy secretary general of the China-ASEAN Business and Investment Summit Secretariat.

Moreover, the number of documents and cost in time lost for imports and exports present disadvantages among member states, Ding added.

Nearly 40 percent respondent enterprises claim the cost in time is too much in customs clearance, and 77.5 percent say too many import and export documents are required in China.

According to Chinese Customs statistics, China's trade with Myanmar, Laos and Vietnam last year increased by 144.9 percent, 32.4 percent and 27.7 percent year-on-year respectively, the fastest growth rates among ASEAN countries, while China-Cambodia volume dropped by 0.4 percent.

Although trade cooperation between China and ASEAN countries develops rapidly, there are still constraints and bottle-necks.

Other factors, such as non-tariff barriers, poor infrastructure and weak integration of transport networks also influence facilitation between China and the surveyed ASEAN countries.

The report suggested enhancing cooperation and policy coordination and strengthening customs consultation among member states, jointly building a China-ASEAN cross-border e-commerce platform.