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AANZFTA deliberates advance ruling on origin to facilitate international trade

1 December 2021

JAKARTA, 1 December 2021 – The Royal Malaysia Customs Department, supported by the ASEAN Secretariat and the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Area (AANZFTA) Support Unit, organised an online consultation workshop on 22-25 November. They deliberated on the application of Advance Ruling on Origin (ARO) under AANZFTA.

The workshop welcomed 63 representatives from the AANZFTA Sub-Committee on Customs Procedures and Trade Facilitation (SC-CPTF), customs administrations, and trade policy and rules of origin offices to review the development of regional training programme and materials on advance rulings. The materials are to promote a uniform interpretation and application of ARO procedures and share relevant knowledge and best practices among AANZFTA Parties.
In her remarks, Yang Berusaha Puan Nor Izah Binti Abd Latiff, Deputy Director of Customs Division, Royal Malaysia Customs Department, expressed that, “as members of the World Trade Organisation, countries are obliged to implement the Advance Ruling system. Further, Article 8 (Advance Ruling) of the Customs Procedure Chapter (Chapter 4) of the AANZFTA Agreement requires each Party, to the extent possible, to implement advance ruling on tariff classification, valuation and/or origin.”

“We believe that the outcome of this project will benefit AANZFTA Parties and at the same time allows participants of the training, later on, to fully maximise their understanding and learning during the actual capacity building training,” she added.
In their respective remarks, SC-CPTF Co-Chairs, Deputy Director Gusmiadirrahman from Indonesia Customs, Assistant Director Robin Flint from Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and Trade Policy Analyst, Vinka Cisternas-Torres, from the New Zealand Customs Service highlighted that the consultative workshop on ARO is timely to support upcoming negotiations on the Advance Ruling for the AANZFTA upgrade. They concurred that implementing sound Advance Ruling on Origin would benefit enhancing certainty and predictability of cross-border trade transactions.
At the four-day workshop, participants considered the elements of the advance ruling system in general and specific elements for ARO. Participants also shared practical experiences or best practices that can be included in the training materials and training programme to help AANZFTA Parties enhance their respective systems.
They discussed legal and policy frameworks, processing and timeframes, communication and outreach for customs officials and traders, and information technology, amongst others.
The workshop was part of the “Capacity Building on Advance Ruling on Origin” project supported by the AANZFTA Economic Cooperation Support Programme. Phase One of the project seeks to develop the ARO training programme and materials, meanwhile Phase Two will conduct regional training for trainers.
The project seeks to (i) enhance the understanding of Advance Ruling of AANZFTA Member Parties; (ii) ensure predictability, consistency and transparency in the application of customs laws and regulations of the Parties; and (iii) ensure efficient, economical administration of customs procedures and the expeditious clearance of goods.
An advance ruling is a written decision by the customs authority on tariff classification, origin, and customs valuation of commodities over a fixed period before their importation or exportation. Such pre-entry legally binding rules provide certainty and predictability of customs operations while promoting compliance.
They help traders make informed decisions on their business transactions and planning while assisting customs authorities in managing risks from future importations. This trade facilitation tool can also build cooperation and confidence between traders and customs authorities while reducing time-consuming complaints and appeals.
For more information on this project or the AECSP, please contact the AANZFTA Support Unit at
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