ASEAN’s competitiveness as a whole. AMS was briefed by the ASEAN Secretariat on the outcomes of the 25th Meeting of the ASEAN Customs Directors-General, 25-27 May 2016, Phnom Penh, Cambodia; and the 3rd Meeting of the ASEAN Senior Economic Officials for the Forty-Seventh ASEAN Economic Ministers Meeting (SEOM 3/47), 28-29 June 2016, Vientiane, Lao PDR.
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In Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei Darussalam, from 9 to 11 August 2016, the 19th Meeting of the ASEAN Customs Capacity Building Working Group (CCBWG) was held under the chairmanship of Mr. Hendra Prasmono, Director of Internal Compliance of the Directorate General of Customs and Excise, Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Indonesia. The representatives of Customs administrations namely Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Viet Nam attended the meeting.
In the Chair’s opening remarks and aligned with the ASEAN Secretariat’s view, it was revealed that ASEAN Member States (AMS) had made consistent and continuous efforts in the process of modernization, including the capacity building (CB), which had contributed to the enhancement of ASEAN.
The Meeting noted key achievements of the regional Customs community of which are the currently developed Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), training cooperation and CB resource persons for the next 5 years, transparency and integrity…
In response to a query regarding possible new working documents on Customs capacity building cooperation with ASEAN dialogue partners, the ASEAN Secretariat pointed out that the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Customs cooperation between ASEAN and China, signed in June 2011, had already included the subject of capacity building cooperation programme. It was noted that China was currently preparing a new working document with ASEAN on Customs Procedures and Trade Facilitation. The ASEAN Secretariat would check whether the new document contain capacity building programme and would revert to the CCBWG as soon as possible.
At the meeting, delegates discussed ways to measure the KPIs, as well as individual impacts to achieve through the KPIs with regard to capacity building. The ASEAN Secretariat informed the Meeting that the KPIs of Customs, which are based on the Broad Direction for Customs Activities encompassing the period of 10 years from 2016 -2025, should be outcome-based rather than output-based. The Meeting discussed and agreed to adopt new KPIs proposed by Singapore for the measure No. 6 in the matrix which falls under the CCBWG’s purview. The proposed new KPIs were taken from the SPCD 11 (Customs Reform and Modernisation), SPCD 12 (Human Resource Development and Administration) and SPCD 14 (Knowledge Based Service), respectively. The Meeting also discussed and proposed some new Action-lines, also taken from the above three SPCDs.
The Meeting was of the views on the potential establishment of a network of Training Centers and Accredited experts in the region to initiate the effort to increase the number of accredited experts in ASEAN, and eventually the number of WCO accredited experts from ASEAN. The Meeting requested Malaysia to take the lead in establishing the network of experts in order for ASEAN to come up with an agreeable concept on the curriculum, mechanism and qualified trainers and training centers.
For this purpose, Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand would work together with the ASEAN Secretariat to liaise with the WCO/ROCB for the above purpose. All members agreed to collect the list of AMS’ experts, including those already accredited by the WCO with a view to using the database to encourage communication and exchange of information between the regional experts on specific issues.
The Viet Nam Customs delegation, lead by Mr. Bui Ngoc Loi- Deputy Director of Human Resource and Organisation Department, had actively participated in the meeting’s debate and activities. The Meeting noted also two presentations by Viet Nam Customs on “Updated Customs Reform and Human Resource Management 2016- 2020” and “Job Description Development”. AMS highly appreciated the Viet Nam Customs’ effort on establishing a solid insfrastructure related to the newly adopted reform, such as competency assessment, performance appraisal...
The Meeting also noted Thailand’s presentation on “Anti Corruption Measures” for this SPCD. Responding to comments and queries from the AMS, Thailand clarified on the difference between Public Sector Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) and National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC), and the perception of the public as well as customs officers with regard to integrity and transparency. Delegates agreed that Malaysia would work with the ASEAN Secretariat on the templates for updates by the AMS on challenges and progress of implementation with regard to the Blueprints on ASEAN Customs Training and Development, ASEAN Customs Human Resource Management and ASEAN Customs Integrity and Ethics.
To meet the new requirement of cooperation in CB, the updated List of Resource Persons for 5-Years Training Programme as well as the List of contact for Knowledge Based Service were also updated by AMS.
The Meeting was briefed by Indonesia on her proposal for new SPCDs under the CCBWG’s purview for the next cycle of the SPCDs. The ASEAN Secretariat referred to the document “Broad Direction for Customs Activities Encompassing the Period of 10 Years; 2016- 2025” which was already endorsed by the ASEAN Directors-General of Customs, and suggested that the document be used as main reference when coming up with any new SPCDs. Further, as a way forward for the preparation of the next cycle of the SPCDs, the ASEAN Secretariat would work closely with Country Coordinators and the AMS in establishing the documents “SPCD Review Paper” and “SPCD Policy Document”, similar to the previous practice when preparing the current cycle of the SPCDs. The first draft of the new SPCDs, taking into account the views and opinions attained from this meeting, would be discussed at the upcoming 20th Meeting of the CCBWG.
Delegates agreed that the upcoming 20th Meeting of the CCBWG was scheduled for 28-30 March 2017 in Malaysia. Along with two other working groups on customs matters (respectively enforcement and customs procedures), the CCBWG has made great contribution to the capacity building abd human resource development of ASEAN Customs. Hopefully, the exchanged information and decision made during this meeting would certainly be of great help to AMS, especially those which are in modernisation process like Viet Nam Customs.
By Ngoc Van (From Bandar Seri Bengawan, Brunei)