BOC partners with UNESCAP for e-trade data exchange study

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Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay
  • The Bureau of Customs recently partnered with the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific for a feasibility study on electronic trade data exchange
  • The collaboration falls under the UN Framework Agreement on Facilitation of Cross-border Paperless Trade in Asia and the Pacific
  • BOC said the study delves into a comprehensive analysis of the technological capabilities, legal frameworks, and operational requirements necessary for the implementation of electronic trade data exchange
  • It also aims to identify potential challenges and risks and develop effective strategies to mitigate them

The Bureau of Customs (BOC) recently partnered with the United Nations (UN) Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) for a feasibility study on electronic trade data exchange.

The collaboration falls under the UN Framework Agreement on Facilitation of Cross-border Paperless Trade in Asia and the Pacific (CPTA), the customs bureau said in a statement.

The Philippines in December 2019 acceded to the CPTA, which aims to promote cross-border paperless trade by enabling the exchange and mutual recognition of trade-related data and documents in electronic form and facilitating interoperability among national and subregional single windows and/or other paperless trade systems.

BOC said the insights provided by its National Trade Facilitation Champions, a pool of customs officers expected to help promote and drive the trade facilitation agenda within the Customs administration, during the joint consultative session were valuable inputs for the ongoing feasibility study on the electronic exchange of trade-related data and documents in the Philippines.

BOC said the study delves into a comprehensive analysis of the technological capabilities, legal frameworks, and operational requirements necessary for the implementation of electronic trade data exchange. It also aims to identify potential challenges and risks and develop effective strategies to mitigate them.

Customs commissioner Bienvenido Rubio, in his message to ESCAP, conveyed BOC’s commitment to facilitating trade and ensuring the efficient and effective movement of goods across borders.

“We believe that the implementation of paperless trade will not only help us achieve these objectives but also enhance transparency and reduce expenses,” Rubio said.

BOC and ESCAP in 2022 co-published a report that assesses the country’s readiness for cross-border paperless trade, including the conduct of international trade based on electronic data and documents.

READ: BOC launches UNESCAP report on PH cross-border trade readiness

The report entitled “Readiness Assessment for Cross-Border Paperless Trade: The Philippines” aims to contribute to the Philippine government’s push to accelerate progress towards cross-border paperless trade as a party to the CPTA.

According to the report, the Philippines has demonstrated strong political will and made significant progress in implementing trade facilitation and paperless trade but more remains to be done to further enhance trade efficiency in the country.

While the Philippines’ trade facilitation implementation level is now significantly above the Asia-Pacific regional average, still, implementation of paperless trade and cross-border paperless trade measures in the Philippines remains uneven among agencies and stakeholders.

The report pointed out, however, that while the Philippines’ regional and subregional average rates are higher, cross-border paperless trade measures have low implementation rates. The country is also still working on achieving full implementation status for cross-border trade measures.