The APEC Sub-Committee on Customs Procedures (SCCP), which reports to the Committee on Trade and Investment (CTI), was established in 1994 by APEC ministers as a forum to fulfil the commitments of APEC leaders and ministers relating to customs matters. The SCCP’s goals are focused on trade facilitation, trade security and related enforcement matters, considering the responsibility of each customs administration for the effective implementation of legitimate border measures. The goals, structure and administration of the SCCP are laid out in its terms of reference.
The Strategic Plan 2022-2025 outlines the SCCP’s vision to be an incubator for innovation and technology-led customs. The SCCP will lead trade facilitation and trade security measures that promote inclusive growth and create more connected, secure, and resilient global supply chains across the APEC region. For the referred period, the SCCP has established five strategic priorities and respective objectives to move forward its work as follows:
1. Contributing to economies’ responses to and recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic
- Successful implementation of APEC-led COVID-19 trade facilitation initiatives
- Facilitation of COVID-19 medical supplies and essential goods, including COVID-19 vaccines across borders
- Cooperation with other agencies within and outside of APEC to boost economic recovery
2. Accelerating implementation of the World Trade Organization (WTO) Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) by driving initiatives to support APEC economies to implement customs elements
3. Enhancing supply chain predictability and connectivity in the APEC region
- Harmonization of customs procedures between APEC economies to facilitate trade and improve predictability of supply chains
- Encouraging paperless trade and digitalization of customs processes to connect, streamline and modernize global supply chains
4. Exploring the use of new technology and innovative solutions to secure supply chains
- Adopting smart and innovative working methods and cooperation models, including use of technology, to improve efficiency of border management
- Strengthening supply chain security and resilience through technological innovations
5. Achieving the above priorities while promoting inclusion and fostering capacity building in the international trading environment
- Enabling a more inclusive customs environment that supports access to trade for all by addressing barriers that limit inclusion and equality in international trade
- Fostering targeted capacity building, sharing solutions and exchanging best practices on trade facilitation and development of technology
The SCCP is currently working to address customs choke points and bottlenecks contained in the phase three of the APEC Supply Chain Connectivity Framework Action Plan (SCFAP III) 2022-2026 with a view to support APEC businesses in building secure, resilient, sustainable and open supply chains that create a predictable, competitive and digitally interconnected Asia-Pacific region for all.
At the same time, APEC customs administrations are contributing to the implementation of the WTO TFA and the APEC Boracay Action Agenda to Globalize MSMEs in the Asia- Pacific region.
The SCCP’s efforts over the past two decades have contributed greatly to the two-time 5 percent reductions of APEC trade transaction costs and have played a fundamental role in the 10 percent improvement in supply chain performance among APEC economies in 2015. These efforts had contributed to the development of a fair, transparent and dynamic economic and trading environment in the Asia-Pacific region.
The SCCP has three guests (with 3-year terms) that participate at its official meetings:
Last page update: April 2023
SCCP Chair 2023
Office of International Affairs, U.S Customs Border Protection
Email: [email protected]
The SCCP holds two annual plenary meetings on the margins of the first and third Senior Officials’ Meetings (SOM1 and SOM3) and an APEC Customs – Business Dialogue (ACBD) on the margins of SOM3 each year, organized by the APEC host economy.
This year, chaired by the United States, the first SCCP Plenary Meeting (SCCP1) was held on 19-21 February in Palm Springs, California. The second SCCP plenary meeting and the ACBD 2023 will take place in Seattle, Washington.
- Best Practices Guidelines on Customs Control for COVID-19 Related Goods (2022)
- Guidelines for Paperless Trade (2021)
- “Best Practice Guidelines for APEC Customs Administrations to Facilitate the Distribution of COVID-19 Vaccines and Related Goods” (2021)
- Updated APEC Customs Transit Guidelines (2019)
- Customs Strategic Framework on Building Connectivity: 3M plus 3S Initiative (2019)
- APEC SCCP Compendium for Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) Enforcement (2019)
a) From SCCP Projects:
- Assessment Report: APEC Customs Capacity Building for Improved Trade Facilitation (2022)
- Analysis and Pathway for Paperless Trade Report (2022)
- Trade Facilitation Measures to Mitigate Trade Disruptions: COVID-19 Lessons and Response Toolkit (2021)
- “Manual of Best Practices” based on the results of the AEO Benefits Survey in Pillar 3 WCO Safe Framework of Standards –
APEC Publication, December 2020 (SCCP 01 2019A Project)
- Customs Time Release Comparison Study: Case Study of AEO MRAs between APEC member economies ” – APEC Publication, December
2020 (SCCP 01 2019A Project)
- AEO in APEC Economies: Opportunities to expand Mutual Recognition Agreements and the Inclusion of SMEs ” – Study Report 2019 (prepared in the context of the APEC Project SCCP 01 2019A)
b) Customs-related APEC Policy Support Unit (PSU) Policy Briefs on
- “Promoting Trade in Vaccines and Related Supplies and Equipment” (2021)
- Managing Risks in Global Value Chains: Strengthening Resilience in the APEC Region ” (2020)
- Customs to Customs Cooperation in APEC: strengthening Regional Cooperation ” (2019)
- Trade Facilitation in APEC: Progress and Impact ” (2019)