Export and Import Procedures in ASEAN: Best Practices

Published: December 2018

In this issue of ASEAN Briefing magazine, we highlight the region’s export and import procedures for the benefit of trading businesses. We begin by outlining the export procedures in each ASEAN member state. Next, we focus on import procedures in each ASEAN country. Finally, we discuss the importance of meeting the region’s Rules of Origin (RoO) criteria for exporters and importers looking to take advantage of the individual ASEAN member states’ FTAs as well as the bloc’s regional FTAs.

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In this issue:

  •  Export Procedures in ASEAN
  • Import Procedures in ASEAN
  • Taking Advantage of ASEAN’s FTAs

The member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) have not only abolished almost all import and export duties on items traded between them but have also signed several Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) both bilaterally as well as regionally via their membership of the bloc. This combination of a single ASEAN market and the several bilateral and regional FTAs, including with Hong Kong, China, India, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand, are radically altering the global supply chain and manufacturing landscape, allowing the free flow of goods between all ASEAN member states and FTA partner countries.

Once the tariff reduction schedules of these FTAs are completed, ASEAN will offer close to zero import-export tariffs for much of emerging Asia, including the giant markets of China and India, possessing some 500 million middle class consumers between them. ASEAN therefore represents a massive trade bloc possessing FTAs of global strategic importance, offering a great opportunity for exporters and importers to trade regionally as well as internationally without tariff barriers.  Businesses, with operations in ASEAN, can use the FTAs to gain easy access to new export markets for their products while also importing input material at low costs, and simplified export and import procedures.

In this issue of ASEAN Briefing magazine, we focus on these emerging opportunities and highlight the region’s export and import procedures for the benefit of trading businesses. We begin by outlining the export procedures in each ASEAN member state. Next, we focus on import procedures in each ASEAN country. Finally, we discuss the importance of meeting the region’s Rules of Origin (RoO) criteria for exporters and importers looking to take advantage of the individual ASEAN member states’ FTAs as well as the bloc’s regional FTAs.


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