Recently, ASEAN leaders decided to establish a transport system to allow for freer trade in the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC). The plan is called the ASEAN Transit System (ACTS) and is described as “a computerized Customs transit management system available to operators who move goods across borders without paying the required duties and taxes otherwise due when the goods enter (or leave) the country.” ACTS would guarantee a more efficient flow of goods across ASEAN countries, as the formal Customs process would only have to take place once the goods arrived to their final destination.
ACTS follow the guidelines in the ASEAN Framework Agreement on Facilitation of Goods in Transit (AFAFGIT) while creating fewer blockages in the transportation process. The ASEAN website states that there are two phases to ACTS. Phase 1 details the construction of a North to South Corridor that would include Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore. Phase 2 would build an East to West Corridor that would connect Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam.
This system would also foster the collaboration of workers in different areas of trade. According to the ASEAN website, participants of ACTS would “include importers, exporters, transporters, freight forwarders, and Customs agents.” ASEAN listed ACTS goals as the following: “increase efficiency of moving goods across transport routes, improve detection of fraud, and reduce transaction cost and movement time for the trading community.”