An APEC Pathfinder for Self-Certification of Origin was launched by the CTI in 2009. This Pathfinder seeks to reduce the administrative burdens and costs associated with navigating complex rules of origin documentation and procedures when utilizing FTAs. Eleven economies are now fully participating in the pathfinder. They include Australia; Brunei Darussalam; Canada; Japan; Korea; Malaysia; New Zealand; the Philippines; Singapore; Chinese Taipei and the United States.
The APEC Self-Certification of Origin Capacity Building Programme was endorsed at the second CTI meeting in June 2010. The program consists of a general workshop and four in-economy workshops aimed at supporting the further participation of APEC economies in the pathfinder and contributing to the successful implementation for participating economies.
The first workshop was held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on 11-12 October 2010; the second in Manila, the Philippines on 10-11 February 2011; the third in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei Darussalam on 4-5 April 2011; and the fourth in Hanoi, Viet Nam on 28-29 July 2011. In order to maintain the momentum generated by the capacity building workshops, the Market Access Group (MAG) agreed in May 2011 to establish a rolling agenda item consisting of a yearly report from relevant economies on progress made towards implementing self-certification of origin and/or joining the pathfinder initiative.
A set of APEC Elements for Simplification of Documents and Procedures Relating to Rules of Origin (ROOs) was adopted by the MAG and the Sub-Committee on Customs Procedures (SCCP). Among the elements, the MAG in 2011 has carried out surveys on the use of IT in ROO and on minimum data requirements in FTAs.
Apart from work undertaken by the CTI, the MAG conducted analytical work on preferential ROO and examined common or model approaches to ROO for specific sectors. In 2009, the MAG completed analyses of five sectors (refrigerators, musical instruments, steel, bicycles and consumer electronics) led by Australia; Japan; Chinese Taipei; and the United States. In 2010, another two ROO sector analysis were completed by Chinese Taipei, one on sporting equipment and one on motor vehicles, parts, accessories and hand tools. In 2011, Chinese Taipei completed a further sectoral analysis on machine tools/parts and toys and games.
The MAG is also working closely with ABAC to get more input from the business community. Other partnerships under consideration include working with multilateral organizations such as the World Customs Organization (WCO) on ROOs.