Trade Facilitation - United States of America
This USAID programme supports the establishment of national single windows (NSWs) among the Association of Southeast Asian Nations’ ten Member States. The programme was launched in 2008 and it is expected to run until 2012. The five-year ASW programme operates under the five-year US State Department/USAID ASEAN Development Vision to Advance National Cooperation for Economic Integration (ADVANCE) Programme. The ASW programme will support the implementation of the ASW (as outlined in the ASEAN Economic Community Blueprint) through five activity streams: (i) Technical implementation support will focus on data harmonization and the development of protocols for collecting and transmitting customs clearance data as well as on support for the pilot and final ASW implementation. (ii) Legal implementation support will focus on ensuring that all ASEAN Member Countries have the e-commerce framework necessary to support the ASW. (iii) Support for the NSWs will direct technical assistance to Member States that are still implementing single windows. (iv) The Private Sector Engagement and Public Awareness Campaign will explain the benefits of the ASW to gov- ernment agencies and the private sector. From FYs2008-2011, USAID spending is over US$3 Million.
RTLC Project works to foster economic growth and improve competitiveness through improving conditions for international and cross-border trade and transit. Specific 2009 results included continued assistance with Kazakhstan and Tajikistan’s accession into WTO and Kyrgyzstan’s post accession compliance; revision of KZ Customs Code and promoting Pre Customs Single Window and Single Administrative Document and assistance on improving WB Doing Business ratings in all three countries.
Worldwide Support for Trade Capacity Building (TCBoost) helps developing countries to determine their trade-related assistance needs and to design and implement TCB programmes. Over a two-year period, the projects received US$5.6 million throughout sub-Saharan Africa. TCBoost provides expertise in: trade facilitation and customs reform; trade policymaking and negotiations; export diversification and competitiveness; economic adjustments to trade liberalization; labour, environment, and gender-specific effects in trade; and sector analysis: services, intellectual property, textiles and apparel. It is a rapid response mechanism that addresses a wide variety of needs in developing countries. It’s pioneering analysis, practical tools, and customized training fill information and knowledge gaps, generate demand for services, and enhance the USAID Office of Economic Growth and Trade (EGAT)’s reputation as a thought leader and premier practitioner in trade capacity building.
USAID’s commitment to customs capacity building as part of their Trade Facilitation and “Aid for Trade” agenda includes the USAID Partnership for Trade Facilitation which specifically targets WCO and client-country priorities in the areas of Advance Rulings, Pre-Arrival Processing and Internet Publishing. Projects are currently under design or being implemented in 17 low income and lower middle income countries.
Authorized Economic Operator (AEO) programmes emphasize voluntary compliance and improve supply chain security through Customs-to-Customs and Customs-to-business partnerships. Based on the WCO SAFE Framework of Standards, the Authorized Economic Operator (AEO) Handbook presents a prototype implementation plan for AEO programs that can readily be adapted to local issues and priorities. Using case studies, the handbook relates the experiences of countries that have designed and implemented AEO programs. The handbook also includes “best-practice” reference materials and sample forms and documents from Customs administrations implementing AEO programs around the world. The AEO Handbook was launched at a regional WCO event in Guatemala City and has been translated into French and Spanish. It has been distributed broadly by the WCO and used in USAID- and World Bank-funded assistance programs, including in Africa.
Post clearance audit (PCA) is a modern control approach that strengthens Customs ability to validate risk assumptions and to address specific technical issues in a more sophisticated way. The Post Clearance Audit Handbook offers a step-by-step guide for customs administrations to build PCA capacity to complement its risk management programme. It provides guidance for examining the legal, institutional, organizational, and capacity building requirements for establishing PCA capability. The PCA Handbook, broadly distributed by the WCO and USAID around the world, was successfully used in a regional training for customs authorities in the Caribbean region. It is available in English and Spanish.
Customs automation helps increase the efficiency and transparency of border management, benefiting customs and the private sector alike. However, in developing countries, many customs authorities lack the information to make informed decisions for ICT procurement. TCBoost designed a web-based, interactive tool to help customs authorities take a needs-based, business-case approach to choosing customs automation software solutions. The tool also features an ICT Procurement Guidebook providing clear advice on procuring ICT hardware and software efficiently and transparently. The tool and guidebook have been showcased at two successive WCO ICT Conferences in Seattle (2011) and Tallinn, Estonia (2012), used by the Egyptian General Organization for Export and Import Control (with USAID assistance) and endorsed by the WCO. At the end of TCBoost, the WCO assumed responsibility for the management and upkeep of the tool, ensuring broad exposure and access and the tool’s continued use.