Trade Facilitation in ASEAN: Evidence from Japanese Affiliates’ Import Cargo Release Time

  • Hirotoshi ITO Pridi Banomyong International College, Thammasat University, Thailand JETRO Bangkok, Japan External Trade Organization, Thailand
Keywords: ASEAN; Trade Facilitation; Release time; Customs clearance; Japanese affiliates


With the completion of substantial tariff elimination intra region, ASEAN policy makers’ focus has shifted drastically towards trade facilitation. Meanwhile, for the private sector in ASEAN, effective trade facilitation measures are placed at the most important and anticipated measures among those wide-ranged initiatives taken by ASEAN. In line with the interest and expectation of private sectors in ASEAN, this study focuses on import related procedures in ASEAN member states, in particular, time taking for the import cargo release at the ports/airports. In contrast to a number of prior studies in this field those which focus on country-to-country comparison, the measurement of the impact of import facilitation, this paper will investigate how firm characteristics are related to import cargo release time. The estimates from the regression found that, among other characteristics, increase in 1) number of the employee, 2) age (a period after the establishment), and 3) share of exports in total sales will lead to the reduction of average time (in days) required for cargo release. Following the result, it is derived that ASEAN’s policy implementation for customs facilitation should be more focused on supporting small and medium enterprises or newly established firms, encouraging effectual export promotion schemes, expanding intra-ASEAN trade, and the composition of them.