Heads of customs administrations from 11 CAREC countries and CAREC Federation of Carriers and Forwarder Associations (CFCFA) association and enterprise members participated in the meeting.
Anvar Asamov, deputy chairperson, Uzbekistan State Customs Committee; Lin Zhong, CFCFA chairperson; and Ying Qian, director, Public Management, Financial Sector and Regional Cooperation Division, East Asia Department, Asian Development Bank, co-chaired the meeting.
Noting that the CFCFA marks its 10-year anniversary in 2019, Zhong shared key milestones and accomplishments of the CFCFA as a private sector grouping within the CAREC framework, and its strong contributions to the trade agenda.
He also presented potential initiatives to advance collaboration between CAREC Customs Cooperation Committee (CCC) and the CFCFA, including (i) pre-authorized economic operator (AEO) credit evaluation procedures, (ii) unified standards for transit bonds, and (iii) implementation of cross-border joint inspections at border-crossing points.
Outcomes of the 18th CAREC CCC Meeting were also presented, including CCC commitment to (i) implement the WTO TFA; (ii) proceed with the CAREC Advanced Transit System and Information Common Exchange (CATS/ICE) pilot project; (iii) intensify efforts to develop and implement effective AEO systems; (iv) consider the proposal of the State Customs Service of Uzbekistan to develop an Integrated Information Exchange System for the CAREC region; and (v) support preparation of investment projects to improve border services and develop single windows, particularly those identified under the CAREC Integrated Trade Agenda 2030 strategic action plan for 2018–2020.
Open dialogue between CCC and CFCFA allowed for substantial exchange on private sector recommendations and concerns with customs-related procedures, potential joint activities for 2019–2021, and possible establishment of national mechanisms for customs–private sector dialogue. CCC and CFCFA members agreed to strengthen collaboration on crosscutting issues in their work plans.
The meeting was supported by ADB regional technical assistance special fund through the Implementation of Trade Facilitation Initiatives in CAREC Program project and by the Regional Cooperation and Integration Fund, and the People’s Republic of China Poverty Reduction and Regional Cooperation Fund, through ADB-administered technical assistance CAREC: Working with the Private Sector in Trade Facilitation (Phase 2).