The TA recruited three Customs and Time Release Study (TRS) experts to support participating countries in the conduct of TRS and assist in improving Customs procedures. The TA supported the preparation and/or dissemination of TRS for Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Thailand and Viet Nam. A total of eight TRS-related workshops and conferences were conducted under the TA. A preparatory regional workshop on TRS was held in Bangkok to provide an opportunity for countries to share their experience and key findings on TRS. As a culminating activity under the TA, a regional conference was held in Tokyo to discuss the recommendations derived from the country and regional TRS reports and a TRS action plan for the region. A compendium of all TRS reports was published and distributed to countries at the Tokyo Regional Conference.
The TA was originally scheduled for implementation from 31 May 2012 to 30 April 2014 but was extended to 31 October 2015. In November 2014, a minor change in implementation arrangement was approved to include Myanmar as a TA recipient country. In March and June 2015, minor changes in implementation arrangements were approved to implement activities agreed upon by the participating countries, the Government of Japan, and ADB.
The TA supported three capacity-building workshops on Advance Rulings and Rules of Origin in Cambodia and two workshops/seminars for Authorized Economic Operators (AEO) in Viet Nam. The second workshop for AEO was a pilot undertaking jointly conducted with the World Customs Organization (WCO).
Two international consultants, a Cargo Tracking Specialist and a Cargo Clearance Specialist, were recruited for a study to introduce cargo tracking system to secure Customs transit in Cambodia and to develop a handbook on cargo clearance procedure. The Handbook in both English and Khmer was completed and posted on the website of Cambodia's General Department of Customs and Excise.
A report on gap analysis in light of the Revised Kyoto Convention (RKC) was prepared and submitted each to the Customs administrations in Cambodia and Lao PDR. A Trade Facilitation legal expert and a national consultant were engaged under the TA to support Myanmar in this regard. However, a full gap analysis for RKC in Myanmar was postponed to 2016 in view of the General Elections held in November 2015.
The RETA also supported the "Asia and the Pacific and the Americas: Customs Leader's Partnership Dialogue" that was held in Panama April 2013 co-organized with the WCO and IDB.