Asean sets review of tariff lines, classifications

Economy May 06, 2014 00:00

By Philippine Daily Inquirer

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The Association of Southeast Asian Nations is set to review the region's harmonised tariff nomenclature to better facilitate trade and help curb technical smuggling across the 10 member-states of the bloc.

Tariff Commission chairman Edgardo Abon said the review was necessary due to the emergence of new products and technological advancements, which will require new nomenclature, classifications and descriptions.
“We’d like to have a clear-cut description so that there will be no problems at the Customs. This review will help differentiate products, facilitate trade and do away with technical smuggling,” Abon added. According to Abon, the review is actually due on 2017, five years after the completion by the Asean of the harmonised tariff nomenclature in 2012.
“But I saw on the communications that (Asean officials) had started to call meetings to start the review as early as now,” Abon said. 
“The Asean Harmonised Tariff Nomenclature is a work in progress due to expected changes in nomenclatures.”
Data from the Asean showed that tariff nomenclature, along with customs valuation and procedures, can be classified as “nonborder” areas of cooperation.
“These are an essential part of any free trade arrangement being part of the technical, administrative and regulatory aspects of trade. Their harmonization would contribute to the smooth flow of goods across borders. In fact, even in the absence of any tariff reductions, harmonisation in these areas can help facilitate or increase the flow of trade,” Asean explained.