CAREC-SASEC Inter-subregional Knowledge-sharing Forum on Trade Facilitation and Customs Modernization, Tbilisi, Georgia

Description

Customs agencies of the CAREC and SASEC programs, with support from the CAREC Institute and RKSI, will share knowledge, experience, and best practice on challenging aspects of trade facilitation reform and modernization efforts, and (ii) identify critical success factors for effective trade facilitation measures for efficient trade flow, resource allocation, and improved regional cooperation. The General Administration of China Customs will share successes and lessons learned from implementing the PRC-MON Joint Customs Control pilot project. A field visit to the AZE-GEO border-crossing point will familiarize participants on efforts made in coordinated border management.

Expected participants

·    Customs Officials (Director General [DG]/ Deputy DG level) from participating Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation (CAREC) Program and South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation (SASEC) Program member countries; and

·    ADB staff and consultants.

Objectives

·    Share knowledge, experience, and best practice on challenging aspects of trade facilitation reform and modernization efforts facing CAREC and SASEC customs administrations, with special emphasis on overland trade, including areas such as transit systems and facilitation, joint border controls, regional improvement of border services, and private sector involvement; and

·    Identify critical success factors for effective trade facilitation measures for efficient trade flow, resource allocation, and improved regional cooperation.

31 October 2019 (Thursday)

08:30–09:00

Registration

09:00–09:15

Opening session

(15 minutes)

·            Opening Remarks

 

Mr. Shane Rosenthal, Country Director, Georgia Resident Mission, ADB

 

Dr. Iskandar Abdullaev, Deputy Director, CAREC Institute

 

·            Welcome Remarks

 

Mr. Samson Uridia, Head of International Relations Department,

 

Revenue Service of Georgia, Ministry of Finance

09:15–09:45

(30 minutes)

Session 1: Introduction of the CAREC Customs Cooperation Committee and the SASEC Customs Subgroup

Session 1 will briefly introduce the customs platforms of CAREC and SASEC, sharing the mandate, the institutional arrangements, and the current priority areas.

Presenters:     Ms. Rose McKenzie, Senior Regional Cooperation Specialist, Public Management, Finance Sector, and Regional Cooperation Division, East Asia Department, Asian Development Bank

Ms. Aileen Pangilinan, Senior Regional Cooperation Officer, South Asia Department, ADB

Moderator:        Mr. Samson Uridia, Georgia Revenue Service

 

Q&A

09:45–10:45

(1 hour)

Session 2: Transit Systems and Facilitation

·         The experience of SASEC countries in development of modern transit procedures, leveraging technology to enhance security and simplify formalities will be presented. A comparative analysis of the transit systems to the provisions of Article 11 of the WTO TFA and other international best practices will be shared.

·         The CAREC Advanced Transit System (CATS) and Information Common Exchange (ICE) will be presented. The CATS/ICE architecture has been developed to provide a single exchange of transit data and allows for the implementation of a comprehensive transit guarantee mechanism.

Presenters:        Mr. Satish Kumar Reddy Mulamreddy, Trade Facilitation Expert, South Asia Department

Ms. Rose McKenzie, ADB

Moderator:         Mr. Masato Nakane, Senior Economist, South Asia Department, ADB

Open discussion.

10:45–11:00

Coffee/Tea Break and group photo

11:00–12:00

(1 hour)

Session 3: Customs Cooperation and Coordinated Border Management and Regional Improvement of Border Services

·         CAREC will share its Joint Customs Control (JCC) Pilot Project, a priority area under the CAREC Customs Cooperation Committee (CCC) work program. The JCC pilot project is implemented between Mongolia and the People’s Republic of China to address serious delays in the cross-border movement of goods in select pairs of border-crossing points (BCPs).

·         CAREC will present its Regional Improvement of Border Services projects, with the specific example of the Kyrgyz Republic and Tajikistan BCPs, which were identified as major bottlenecks for transport and trade along CAREC corridors. Complementary investments in BCP infrastructure and the introduction of single windows, together with border control agency cooperation, have helped eliminate some of the bottlenecks.

·         SASEC will share experience in its coordinated approach to improving border infrastructure and complementary facilities, cross-border connectivity, and support for trade and transport facilitation reforms to make cross-border trade in the region efficient and well-regulated.

 

Presenters:         Mr. Dong Xiaolin, Division Director of Department of Port Control, General Administration of Customs of PRC

Mr. Azim Tursunzoda, First Deputy Head, Customs Service of the Republic of Tajikistan

Mr. Satish Kumar Reddy Mulamreddy, Trade Facilitation Expert, South Asia Department

Ms. Aileen Pangilinan, ADB

Moderator:        Ms. Rose McKenzie, ADB

Open discussion.

12:00–12:30

Session 4: CAREC Institute Trade Related Activities

·         CAREC Institute will present its trade related activities in relation to customs cooperation including activities in e-Commerce, e-certification for SPS, etc.

 

Presenters:        Dr. Iskandar Abdullaev, Deputy Director, CAREC Institute

Moderator:        Ms. Rose McKenzie, ADB

·         Open discussion.

12:30–14:00

Lunch

14:00–14:45

(45 mins)

Session 5: Engagement with the Private Sector for Effective Trade Facilitation

·         SASEC will present on designing institutionalized structures for engaging with the private sector for obtaining feedback on policy reforms and legal processes and other statutory requirements. The role of Customs Administrations in coordinating between private sector and other cross- border regulatory agencies will also be discussed. The need for multi-level institutional mechanisms for such engagement and the challenges in their sustainable functioning will be shared.

·         Pakistan’s National Trade and Transport Facilitation Committee (NTTFC) was first established through a government resolution in 1998. In February 2018, the NTTFC was reconstituted to meet the new requirements under the WTO TFA. The new NTTFC also identifies issues and problems involving stakeholders, including private sector issues related to trade facilitation.

 

Presenters:         Mr. Satish Kumar Reddy Mulamreddy, Trade Facilitation Expert, South Asia Department

Mr. Muhammad Javed Ghani, Member, Customs Policy, Federal Board of Revenue, Pakistan

Moderator:        Mr. Ronald Butiong, Director, South Asia Department, ADB

Open discussion

14:45–15:00

Coffee/Tea Break

15:00–16:00

Session 6: Authorized Economic Operator Systems

(1 hour)

·         CAREC will present Georgia’s Authorized Economic Operator (AEO) scheme based on their experience from the Revenue Service “Golden List” Program introduced in 2008, which grants certain customs simplifications to trusted companies when importing and/or exporting of goods to and from Georgian customs territory.

 

·         SASEC will share its experience in introducing a multi-tiered compliance management program to suit the needs of various players in the supply chain, the approach taken for speedy validation, advocacy and designing benefits relevant to the trade needs. The challenges faced in propagating the program will also be discussed.

 

Presenters:        Ms. Ketevan Bitsadze, Senior Auditor, Post Clearance Audit Division, Customs Department, Georgia Revenue Service

Mr. Satish Kumar Reddy Mulamreddy, Trade Facilitation Expert, South Asia Department

 

Moderator:        Ms. Rose McKenzie, ADB

 

Open discussion.

16:00–16:30

(30 mins)

Session 7: Wrap Up and Closing of Learning Event

·      Mr. Samson Uridia, Georgia Revenue Service

·      Mr. Ronald Antonio Q. Butiong, ADB

19:00–2100

Dinner sponsored by Georgia Revenue Service

Pick-up at hotel lobby at 19:00. The dress code is official, no casual attire please.

1 November

2019 (Friday)

Dinner sponsored by South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation Program at ATI Restaurant

2 November 2019 (Saturday) – Site Visit

09:30-10:00

Assembly at the Lobby

10:00–11:00

Leave promptly from hotel to Tsiteli Khidi Border Crossing Point (BCP)

11:00 – 13:00

Tour of the Tsiteli Khidi BCP

13:00 – 14:00

Travel from BCP to the Lunch Venue

14:00 – 15:30

Lunch at the Bread House in Tbilisi

15:30 – 16:00

Travel back to the hotel