As the most important annual event of the cooperation mechanism in the field within the bloc, the meeting drew the participation of some 100 delegates from  the 10 ASEAN member states, the ASEAN Secretariat, and ASEAN partners including China, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Australia, the World Customs Organisation, the U.S.-ASEAN Business Council, and the E.U.-ASEAN Business Council.

At the opening ceremony of the 33rd Meeting of the ASEAN Directors-General of Customs 

In his opening remarks, Director General of the Vietnam Customs Nguyen Van Can highlighted the country's efforts to effectively carry out initiatives and commitments to realizing the bloc’s common targets, comprising plans to build digital and smart customs.

He said it is time for the ASEAN customs to join hands for a new journey with higher targets on integration and connectivity, helping build a future economy of comprehensiveness, sustainability and digital economy as stated in the joint statement of the 11th ASEAN Finance Ministers’ and Central Bank Governors’ Meeting.

According to Can, the Vietnam Customs will promote its bridging role to continue implementing and completing cooperation initiatives within ASEAN so as to build a united community as well as promote the bloc’s important role and position in the region’s peace, security and prosperity. Furthermore, it will work to make the ASEAN customs cooperation bear fruits in trade facilitation and sound border management, contributing to successfully build the ASEAN Community Vision 2025.

At the two-and-a-half-day event, ASEAN customs leaders will discuss and adopt the Strategic Plan of Customs Development (SPCD) for 2026-2030, integrate such new factors as customs digitization and automation, circular economy, carbon neutrality and sustainability in the new periods of the SPCD.

They will decide on orientations to continue implementing the ASEAN Single Window, ASEAN Customs Transit System, Mutual Recognition Agreements, Authorized Economic Operator, and many campaigns and cooperation initiatives to fight smuggling and trade fraud, among others.

The meeting will feature consultations with its dialogue partners, spotlighting best practices for customs management and trade facilitation as well as cooperation opportunities in the area, particularly emerging issues related to sustainability, green customs, cross-border e-commerce, and circulation of products of the circular economy.

As the ASEAN Customs Chair for 2024-2025, the Vietnam Customs will push ahead the implementation of the SPCD as schedule, and join hands with the ASEAN Secretariat to seek support resources to roll out the bloc’s customs cooperation initiatives and programs.

At the meeting, Vietnam will put fort initiatives on green customs and those to strengthen connectivity and promote information sharing on customs control, which are expected to help ASEAN customs to concretize its cooperation goals and contribute to building a prosperous and sustainable ASEAN Economic Community and realizing ASEAN’s vision of “One Vision, One Identity, One Community”.

Deputy General Director of the Vietnam Customs Nguyen Van Tho told the Vietnam News Agency on the sidelines of the meeting that hosting the meeting demonstrates Vietnam’s responsibility and full commitment as an ASEAN member.

He called this an opportunity for Vietnam to raise its position and roles in the ASEAN and global cooperation mechanisms.

Source: VNA