APEC Boosts Business-Friendly Security Controls on Traded Goods  

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  • TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - APEC is taking steps to ensure that member economies are in a position to uniformly embrace controls on traded goods whose misuse could pose a security risk while upholding legitimate business between importers and exporters.

    Trade officials, enforcement bodies and private sector experts examined the regulation and administrative procedures that are critical to achieving this balance, known as strategic trade management, during a two-day workshop this week in Kuala Lumpur. It concluded with the presentation of best practices to support their implementation by APEC economies.

    Opening the workshop, Malaysia’s Strategic Trade Controller Muthafa Yusof said that the production of goods such as information and communications technology, industrial chemicals, and marine, avionics and aerospace components is a major source of growth and job creation in the APEC region. But these, he said, "must be properly regulated to ensure that they are traded for legitimate commercial purposes only."

     “Ensuring that safeguards are coherent and effective across economies is vital to reducing disruptions to trade, whether they are a terrorist attack or administrative bottlenecks, which could inflict great costs to businesses that depend on efficient regional supply chains,” Muthafa said as quoted from a release Tempo received on Thursday, Oct. 31.

    "Strategic trade management involves a complex web of issues ranging from laws, regulations and enforcement to licensing, industry outreach and technical assistance,” noted Peter Cheah, chair of the APEC Market Access Group. “Enhancing awareness of the importance of a secure trading environment that is trade facilitative and how this can be achieved is crucial.”

    Cheah explained that APEC's priority focuses--that will ultimately contribute to more reliable supply chains and increase economic activity include "the sharing of best practices among government officials and the private sector can help economies to navigate implementation challenges, for example, resource limitations and gaps in interagency coordination."

    APEC economies considered private sector inputs for optimizing this process.

    The World Customs Organization’s Strategic Trade Control Enforcement Program described ways it can work with APEC economies to improve border control effectiveness and compliance. Other participants included the European Union Federal Office of Economics and Export Control which offered insights into the development of control lists for dual-use goods. (*)