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ASEAN Trade in Goods Agreement Enters into Force
Source: aseansec.org
Source Date: Monday, May 17, 2010
Focus: Electronic and Mobile Government
Created: May 24, 2010

The cost of doing business in ASEAN will be lower and trade-related transactions simpler as the ASEAN Trade in Goods Agreement (ATIGA), one of the region’s landmark economic agreements, entered into force today.

The ATIGA, which is comprehensive in its scope and brings transparency to regional trade liberalisation, consolidates all commitments related to trade in goods. It focuses on not only tariff liberalisation and non-tariff measures, but it also includes matters related to simplification of rules of origin and its implementation. Various agencies and regulatory bodies dealing with entry of goods, such as the Customs, and health and agricultural authorities, will jointly operate in ensuring smoother operations at the Customs entry points.

“The ATIGA is a major achievement towards the establishment of a single market and production base under the ASEAN Economic Community 2015,” said the Secretary-General of ASEAN, Dr Surin Pitsuwan. The entry into force of the ATIGA will help facilitate trade by simplifying processes and procedures thereby reducing transaction time and cost of doing business hence benefitting the business community and the public, he said upon the deposit of Thailand’s instrument of ratification with his office in Jakarta. All ASEAN Member States have now ratified the ATIGA.

The ATIGA contains the full import duty liberalisation schedule among ASEAN Member States and spells out the tariff rates to be applied on products. This provides businesses with transparency and certainty in making business and investment decisions. Dr Surin also urged the ASEAN Member States to implement the ATIGA through timely incorporation of the ATIGA commitments into domestic legislation to meet the agreed tariff reduction schedules.

With the coming into force of ATIGA, Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and Thailand will issue their legal enactments in 90 days, while Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, and Viet Nam will do so in 180 days. Thereafter, tariff liberalisation commitments under the ATIGA will be implemented retroactively from 1 January 2010.
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