The ECSG has guided numerous capacity building projects that promote the development and use of electronic commerce and ICTs within the APEC region including:  

Cross-Border Privacy Rules (CBPR) System

  • Japan Institute for Promotion of Digital Economy and Community (JIPDEC) was approved as the second Accountability Agent for the APEC Cross-Border Privacy Rules System in January 2016, following TRUSTe’s recognition in 2013.
  • Canada became the latest entrant into the APEC Cross-Border Privacy Rules System in April 2015, boosting the protection of consumer data from security threats as it is transmitted around the Asia-Pacific while cutting compliance costs for businesses that increasingly depend on these information flows to operate and grow.  The move follows the addition of Japan in 2014, Mexico in 2013 and the United States in 2012 to the system.  It paves the way for the expansion of the system among the remaining 16 APEC members, with implications for data flows ranging from apps, cloud computing, and email to biometrics, GPS information and online purchases of goods and services. 

Privacy Recognition for Processors (PRP) System 

  • The Privacy Recognition for Processors System (PRP) Governance Documents was endorsed by APEC in August 2015.  The PRP system is designed to help personal information processors assist controllers in complying with relevant privacy obligations, and helps controllers identify qualified and accountable processors.   This is done through an intake questionnaire which sets forth the baseline requirements of the PRP.  The APEC-recognized Accountability Agent will then assess a processor seeking recognition based on a set of requirements.

Common Referential

  • In January 2014, the joint APEC-EU Working Committee led to the development and completion of a Common Referential for the Structure of the EU System of Binding Corporate Rules and APEC Cross Border Privacy Rules System.  The goal of this referential is to serve as an informal pragmatic checklist for companies applying for authorization of the EU system of Binding Corporate Rules System (BCR) and certification under APEC’s Cross Border Privacy Rules system (CBPR).  In addition to outlining compliance and certification requirements of both APEC CBPR and EU BCR systems, the referential also identifies common elements and additional requirements for each.  This will be useful for companies applying for certification under both systems.  This initiative is just the first step of the work on APEC CBPR and the EU BCR.  The long-term goal is to work on the interoperability of these systems. 

Paperless trading  

The ECSG also develops projects on the use of paperless trading in commercial processes involving business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-government (B2G) transactions and promotes the use of electronic documents and internet technologies in international trade.

These projects aim to use "e-solutions" or electronic procedures and processes in cross-border trade to save time and costs for firms and government agencies seeking regulatory compliance information from traders.  Areas covered by these projects include: electronic certificates of origin (ECO), electronic invoicing, business requirements for data harmonisation and a single window, best practices in paperless trading, archiving of e-documents and e-trade financing.  Among those projects, the ECO project has been implemented in live transactions between member economies beyond its pilot stage, saving substantial cost and time and thus realizing the benefits of trade facilitation.

Work is underway to implement APEC's Strategies and Actions Toward a Cross-Border Paperless Trading Environment to enable the electronic transmission of trade-related information across the region by 2020.

17 economies have submitted Individual Action Plans on Paperless Trading outlining progress made "to reduce or eliminate the requirement for paper documents needed for customs and other cross-border trade administration and other documents and messages relevant to international sea, air and land transport" as set out in the APEC Blueprint for Action on E-Commerce.