fbpx 50144-001: Implementation of Trade Facilitation Initiatives in Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation Program | Asian Development Bank

Regional: Implementation of Trade Facilitation Initiatives in Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation Program

Sovereign (Public) Project | 50144-001 Status: Closed

The TA aims to support the continuation of customs reforms and modernization efforts undertaken by Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation (CAREC) countries as agreed by the Customs Cooperation Committee (CCC). Specifically, the TA aims to: (i) strengthen customs and trade facilitation measures and (ii) implement enhanced cooperation with the private sector.

Project Details

Project Officer
McKenzie, Rosalind Y. East Asia Department Request for information
Country
  • Regional
Modality
  • Technical Assistance
Sector
  • Industry and trade
 
Project Name Implementation of Trade Facilitation Initiatives in Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation Program
Project Number 50144-001
Country Regional
Project Status Closed
Project Type / Modality of Assistance Technical Assistance
Source of Funding / Amount
TA 9162-REG: Implementation of Trade Facilitation Initiatives in Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation Program
Technical Assistance Special Fund US$ 250,000.00
Regional Cooperation and Integration Fund US$ 750,000.00
Strategic Agendas Inclusive economic growth
Regional integration
Drivers of Change Partnerships
Sector / Subsector

Industry and trade / Industry and trade sector development

Gender Equity and Mainstreaming No gender elements
Description The TA aims to support the continuation of customs reforms and modernization efforts undertaken by Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation (CAREC) countries as agreed by the Customs Cooperation Committee (CCC). Specifically, the TA aims to: (i) strengthen customs and trade facilitation measures and (ii) implement enhanced cooperation with the private sector.
Project Rationale and Linkage to Country/Regional Strategy Trade Facilitation is one of the four priority areas within the CAREC 2020 strategic framework. ADB assistance has significantly enhanced trade facilitation in CAREC countries. However, it is necessary to continue and deepen customs modernization and trade facilitation reforms.
Impact Smooth flow of goods and people within the CAREC region improved
Project Outcome
Description of Outcome Smooth flow of goods and people within the CAREC region improved (CAREC Transport and Trade Facilitation Strategy 2020)a
Progress Toward Outcome TA is on its second year of implementation and is taking into consideration recent developments including the endorsement of CAREC 2030 strategy and the entry into force of WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement in February 2017.
Implementation Progress
Description of Project Outputs

Trade facilitation measures at CAREC customs strengthened

Trade facilitation measures through enhanced cooperation with private sector implemented

Status of Implementation Progress (Outputs, Activities, and Issues)

In 2016, the TA supported the organization of 15th CAREC Customs Committee (CCC) Meeting on 21 September 2016 in Singapore attended by representatives from 9 countries. At the meeting, the CCC agreed to pilot the customs information exchange, CAREC Advanced Transit System. To support private sector engagement, the 2nd Joint Meeting of CCC-CAREC Federation of Carriers and Forwarders Association (CFCFA) was held back-to-back in 22 September 2016 where the joint meeting agreed on the participation of the private sector in the implementation of pilot projects of CCC.

In 2017, the following activities were undertaken:

(1) WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) workshop in May 2017 in Seoul, Republic of Korea - which also provided an opportunity to conduct a meeting among established National Committees on Trade Facilitation (NCTFs) of CAREC countries.

(2) 16th CAREC Customs Cooperation Committee (CCC) Meeting on 21 September 2017 in Dushanbe, Tajikistan, attended by representatives from 11 CAREC countries. The CCC agreed to pilot the information common exchange (ICE), CAREC Advanced Transit System (CATS) in AZE, GEO and KAZ in 2018; support the implementation of WTO TFA and the formulation of a new CAREC Trade Strategy. Inter-sessionally, a trilateral agreement among the CATS/ICE pilot countries has been drafted to implement the pilot activities.

(3) 3rd Joint Meeting of CCC-CAREC Federation of Carriers and Forwarders Association (CFCFA) on 23 September 2017, Dushanbe. The joint meeting agreed on enhancing collaboration between customs authorities and the private sector particularly in the conduct of the ICE and CATS pilots, implementation of TFA and the finalization of CFCFA transport standards compliant with international standards. The CCC endorsed their workplan, including to: (i) pilot-test a regional transit regime called the CAREC Advanced Transit System (CATS) and an information common exchange (ICE) mechanism; (ii) implement the WTO TFA; and (iii) develop a new strategy under the framework of CAREC 2030.

(4) CAREC Workshop on Trade and Trade Facilitation Reforms - WTO TFA and Consolidated Trade Agenda 12-13 December, Bangkok to deliberate on the (i) outcomes of ADB study on the readiness of CAREC countries in implementing the TFA and the next steps and (ii) structure of the integrated trade policy and trade facilitation agenda under the CAREC 2030 strategic framework which was endorsed in October 2017.

In 2018, a series of consultations were held to deliberate on the approach and contents of a proposed CAREC Integrated Trade Agenda (CITA) 2030 as well as the development of a three-year rolling strategic action plan (RSAP) 2018-2020. The consultations solicited feedback, comments, and recommendation on the new strategy for trade (i.e., CITA 2030) and the role and linkages among sectoral bodies, particularly between the CCC and the newly established Regional Trade Group.

International Customs Technology Expert, International Trade Facilitation Specialist, National Trade Facilitation Program Manager, and National Trade Facilitation Coordinator were recruited.

The TA has on its first two years of implementation achieved the following:

-completed a draft of a CATS/ICE Trilateral Agreement for pilot countries (Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Kazakhstan); a review of the workplans of the legal and regulatory, risk management, and information technology (IT) working groups; and a roundtable meeting with insurance companies to discuss options for transit guarantee mechanism under the proposed CATS;

- delivered two regional workshops on WTO TFA and a meeting of National Committee on Trade Facilitation (NCTF) and a consultation paper on the assessment of the CAREC members readiness to implement the TFA;

- delivered a targeted training for Mongolian customs officers in the areas of risk management and supported the joint customs control initiative with PRC;

- technical support to the information and communication technology (ICT) roadmap of the State Customs Service of Uzbekistan;

- delivered subregional and national consultations and a paper for the development of CAREC Integrated Trade Agenda (CITA);

- provided technical expertise and support on trade facilitation issues at the inaugural meeting of the Regional Trade Group; and

- supported two annual joint meetings of customs and the private sector (i.e., CCC and the CAREC Federation of Carrier and Forwarder Associations).

The TA's implementation leveraged on the outputs achieved and related activities under regional technical assistance projects funded by Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction (JFPR). Some costs savings were realized under the current TA.

In January 2018, the new customs code of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) entered into force. To ensure consistency of the CATS/ICE Trilateral Agreement with the EAEU customs code and technical feasibility and procedural compliance with Kazakhstan's system, the TA activities to pilot ICE and CATS will be pushed for implementation in 2019.

At the 17th CCC Meeting in September 2018, the Meeting agreed to amend the CCC priority areas recognizing global trends and development and evolving role of customs and authorities. The CCC also agreed to update its TOR, including its objectives and scope of work, in line with the implementation of the CITA 2030 and RSAP 2018-2020.

An ADB Inter-subregional Forum on Enhanced Implementation of WTO TFA on 30-31 October 2018 and a workshop to develop CAREC countries implementation roadmap for WTO TFA on 29 October 2018 are being organized jointly with CAREC Institute, WTO, WCO and relevant partners.

In January 2019, a subregional workshop on the application of customs related provision of the WTO TFA as well as discussions on CATS/ICE agreement was held. The MOU for pilot implementation of CATS moved closer to finalization, with participating countries actively identifying the necessary internal procedures required for signing of the Agreement.

A third workshop on the CATS/ICE Pilot Test was held in April 2019, in Nursultan, Kazakhstan to (i) help finalize the draft trilateral agreement documentation; and (ii) develop a signing schedule for the Agreement following countries' respective domestic processes. Workshop attendees included customs officials and representatives from transit and insurance companies. Members of the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and Risk Management (RM) Working Groups met separately to discuss outstanding issues related to customs control procedures, development of the ICE prototype, and terms of reference of the two technical working groups established for CATS/ICE implementation. A roundtable discussion was also organized among insurance companies to discuss various options for a transit guarantee mechanism.

In June 2019, the 18th CCC Meeting convened in Tashkent, Uzbekistan: key outcomes included endorsement of (i) the CCC 2019 2021 work plan under the CAREC Integrated Trade Agenda 2030 3-year rolling strategic action plan 2019 2021; (ii) the CATS/ICE pilot project, with launching of the pilot expected in December 2019; (iii) enhanced collaboration between the CCC and the CAREC Regional Trade Group; and (iii) continued support to enhance national implementation of the World Trade Organization Trade Facilitation Agreement. An Uzbekistan State Customs Committee concept was presented for an Integrated Information Exchange System for the CAREC region, which would help CAREC countries further develop cooperation among custom services, facilitate trade, and modernize customs procedures.

The final text of the CATS/ICE Agreement was agreed at a workshop in July 2019, in Batumi, Georgia, between customs agencies of Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Kazakhstan. Members of the two technical working groups from Customs Control Facilitation ad Information and Communications Technology also reviewed the technical aspects of the CATS software specification, guarantees mechanism, and implementation procedures. Site visits were organized through port areas in Batumi, including the local border-crossing point from Turkey to Georgia; the Customs Clearance Zone of Batumi; and Batumi seaport

Geographical Location Regional
Summary of Environmental and Social Aspects
Environmental Aspects
Involuntary Resettlement
Indigenous Peoples
Stakeholder Communication, Participation, and Consultation
During Project Design Extensive consultations were conducted with various stakeholders including customs and SPS agencies, private sector such as carrier and forwarder associations, and development partners.
During Project Implementation To promote synergy with other regional and global initiatives, experts from World Trade Organization, World Customs Organization, Korea Customs Services, UNESCAP, USAID, GIZ and International Finance Corporation, among others, were invited to participate in the TA activities.
Business Opportunities
Consulting Services The consultants will be engaged on an individual basis to provide 12 person-months of international and 24 person-months of national consultant services under the technical assistance (TA).
Responsible ADB Officer McKenzie, Rosalind Y.
Responsible ADB Department East Asia Department
Responsible ADB Division Public Mgt, Financial Sector and Regional Coop Division, EARD
Executing Agencies
Asian Development Bank
6 ADB Avenue,
Mandaluyong City 1550, Philippines
Timetable
Concept Clearance 15 Apr 2016
Fact Finding 22 Aug 2016 to 24 Aug 2016
MRM -
Approval 31 Aug 2016
Last Review Mission -
Last PDS Update 30 Sep 2019

TA 9162-REG

Milestones
Approval Signing Date Effectivity Date Closing
Original Revised Actual
31 Aug 2016 - 31 Aug 2016 31 Aug 2018 29 Feb 2020 -
Financing Plan/TA Utilization Cumulative Disbursements
ADB Cofinancing Counterpart Total Date Amount
Gov Beneficiaries Project Sponsor Others
1,000,000.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 1,000,000.00 31 Aug 2016 931,007.87

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Evaluation Documents See also: Independent Evaluation

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Related Publications


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Tenders

Tender Title Type Status Posting Date Deadline
TRADE FACILITATION COORDINATOR (National) Individual - Consulting Closed 06 Jun 2018 08 Jun 2018
Trade Facilitation Specialist (International) Individual - Consulting Closed 13 Sep 2017 19 Sep 2017
Customs Information Technology Expert (International) Individual - Consulting Closed 13 Sep 2017 26 Sep 2017
Trade Facilitation Program Manager Individual - Consulting Closed 06 Sep 2017 12 Sep 2017
TRADE FACILITATION COORDINATOR (National) Individual - Consulting Closed 04 Aug 2017 10 Aug 2017

Contracts Awarded

No contracts awarded for this project were found

Procurement Plan

None currently available.