Appendix 4 - Trade facilitation issues
Taken from Statement of the Chair, Meeting of APEC
Ministers Responsible for Trade, Auckland, 29–30 June 1999.
Trade facilitation issues—
- better communicate APEC’s work on trade facilitation in order to
improve understanding and increase support from business and others for this
work, which is important.
- improve the ease of business travel by simplifying arrangements
and reducing the amount of paperwork associated with moving people on short
term assignments. Urge all APEC economies to join the APEC Business Travel Card
- Reduce the compliance costs associated with trade, which are
especially severe for SMEs, through improved cooperation in such areas as
customs and standards. Existing processes are duly complex and inconsistent and
APEC’s progress is to slow. Also cross border costs are often arbitrary, too
high, changeable and not appealable.
- Modernise and harmonise customs systems across the region
including by establishing electronic data interchange systems and shared data
banks. Harmonise product and commodity classifications. Simplify and harmonise
customs procedures, guidelines and documentation requirements. Benchmark
progress against best practice standards. Again, progress is too slow.
- Improve coordination of APEC work on electronic commerce and
recognise the role of the private sector in leading the work agenda in this
area. Needs more effective ministerial involvement/leadership.
- There are no borders in e-commerce but there are in legal
systems. APEC should intensify work on cross-border fraud and virus
contamination issues associated with electronic commerce. This is an area of
increasing significance and cross-border enforcement is essential
- Work towards harmonising qualifications and recognising skills
acquired in the region.
- The complexity and inconsistency of tax systems is a major
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