U.S. TPP Objectives: Customs, Trade Facilitation, and Rules of Origin

Portrait of Michael FromanCutting the red-tape of trade, including by reducing costs and increasing customs efficiencies, will make it cheaper, easier, and faster for businesses to get their products to market.  In TPP, we are looking to facilitate trade across the TPP region; support the deep integration of U.S. logistics, manufacturing, and other industries in regional supply chains; and reduce costs for U.S. business by removing onerous and opaque customs barriers. Specifically, in the TPP we are seeking:

  • Commitments that will ensure the quick release of goods through customs, expedited procedures for express shipments, advance rulings, and transparent and predictable customs regulations;
  • Strong customs cooperation commitments in order to ensure that TPP countries work together to prevent smuggling, illegal transshipment, and duty evasion, and to guarantee compliance with trade laws and regulations; and
  • Strong and common rules of origin to ensure that the benefits of TPP go to the United States and other TPP countries, and also that TPP promotes the development of supply chains in the region that include companies based in the United States.

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In Resolution 19/NQ-CP, Mar 18, 2014, the Government made a number of commitments, including

“- To streamline processes, to simplify record-related requirements, export and import procedures and customs formalities, and to reduce the time for import and export clearance to the average of the ASEAN-6 group (being 14 days to export and 13 days to import); Note: The average time to export and import in ASEAN-6 countries is 14 days and 13 days respectively, where it takes 17 and 23 days respectively in Indonesia, Thailand – 14 and 13 days, the Philippines – 15 and 14 days, Malaysia – 11 and 8 days, Brunei – 19 and 15 days, Singapore – 5 and 4 days, and Vietnam 21 days for both import and export in 2013.”

Vietnam signed the WTO Bali Package Trade Facilitation Draft Agreement, Dec 2013, making commitments that are similar to the TPP Chapters on Customs and Trade Facilitation.

Source: Objectives of the United States in the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement, USTR Press Release, June 2014