BOC portal for ASEAN customs doc exchanges launched

Ceremonial launching of the ASEAN customs declaration document portal on December 6. Photo from Bureau of Customs.
  • The Bureau of Customs’ portal for electronic exchanges of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations customs declaration document (ACDD) is now officially live
  • Launched on December 6, the ACDD Operations Portal facilitates ACDD message exchanges through TradeNet and/or the Philippine ASEAN Single Window Gateway and the ASW gateways of other ASEAN member-states
  • The launch follows BOC’s issuance in October of a customs order that provides guidelines for the electronic exchange of ACDD via the portal

The Bureau of Customs (BOC) formally launched a portal for the electronic exchange of ASEAN customs declaration documents (ACDD) among Association of Southeast Asian Nations members.

The ACDD Portal, launched on December 6, facilitates ACDD message exchanges through TradeNet and/or the Philippine ASEAN Single Window (ASW) Gateway and ASW gateways of other ASEAN member states.

The ACDD is a multipurpose document used for faster exchanges of export declaration information among ASEAN member states. It includes 15 mandatory information parameters extracted from the export declaration.

The portal’s launch follows BOC’s issuance in October of Customs Memorandum Order No. 26-2022, which sets the guidelines and procedures for electronic exchanges of ACDD through the ACDD Operations Portal in line with the ASEAN protocol on the legal framework implementing the ASW.

RELATED READ: BOC issues guidelines on e-exchange of ACDDs

The Philippines, through BOC, this year joined the live electronic exchange of ACDD with ASEAN members Cambodia, Myanmar, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, and Brunei. Lao PDR and Vietnam, meanwhile, are expected to join the ACDD live operation this year.

BOC had said earlier that full implementation of the ACDD exchange would start upon the issuance of the relevant CMO. BOC has worked in partnership with the US Agency for International Development, through its ASEAN Policy Implementation Project, in creating the ACDD portal.

Exporters will have to register through the ACDD portal. The online registration form will be linked to BOC’s profile database and the exporters’ accounts will be verified through the Client Profile Registration System (CPRS). Only exporters with active CPRS can register and use the ACDD portal.

Once registration has been verified, the exporters may proceed with creating an account, wherein they will be able to view, track status, print and generate a report for all outbound ACDD messages sent through their account.

The ACDD portal will facilitate sending of outbound ACDD messages to an importing ASEAN member via the Philippine gateway.

The tracking functionality of the ACDD portal will inform the exporting country that the message has been received and acknowledged by the importing ASEAN member state which will indicate the completion of the outbound ACDD message cycle.

The ACDD portal will also receive ACDD messages from other ASEAN members and store these in the portal database. Inbound ACDD messages will complement BOC’s risk management activity and help cut customs clearance time for import consignments, CMO 26-2022 said.

Until such time that a TradeNet ACDD module is implemented, information exchanges on the Philippine ASW Gateway Business-to-Business Integration will be made via the ACDD portal.

TradeNet is the country’s national single window, a prerequisite to connect to the ASW.

The ASW, meanwhile, is a regional initiative to speed up cargo clearance and promote regional economic integration by enabling electronic exchanges of border documents among the 10 ASEAN member states.

The US Mission to ASEAN says the ASW streamlines electronic cargo clearance exchanges, reduces clearance time, and boosts clearance reliability. It also cuts storage and labor costs, helps ensure equitable administration of trade regulations, and lowers the cost of doing business in the region.  Private firms have saved an estimated $2.87 billion from 2018 to 2021, the mission said.

In December 2020, Cambodia, Myanmar, and Singapore started exchanging ACDDs through the ASW. Malaysia and Thailand followed on March 31, 2021, while the remaining ASEAN member states were expected to join the live operation within 2021.

In August 2021, BOC said it had completed the bidding for its ACDD System. When implemented, the system would enable the Philippines to exchange ACDDs electronically on the ASW and help the country digitalize trade processes and maximize the potential of intra-ASEAN trade.

Aside from the ACDD, the ASW allows electronic exchanges of trade documents such as the electronic Certificate of Origin Form D under the ASEAN Trade in Goods Agreement. Exchanges of electronic phyto-sanitary and animal health certificates are also planned for implementation soon.

Currently, electronic certificates of origin can be exchanged by Philippine exporters with partners from other ASEAN states. BOC and other government agencies are also working to onboard all trade regulatory government agencies (TRGA) to TradeNet this year to allow online application for import and export permits.

Earlier, BOC had said 21 TRGAs are already onboard TradeNet, while the remaining more than 50 will be onboarded this year. – Roumina Pablo