Project Title

Capacity Building and Technical Assistance to Implement Programs on Expedited Shipments  

Project Year

2014   

Project Number

CTI 07 2014A 

Project Session

Session 1   

Project Type

Standard 

Project Status

Completed Project   
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Project No.

CTI 07 2014A 

Project Title

Capacity Building and Technical Assistance to Implement Programs on Expedited Shipments  

Project Status

Completed Project 

Publication (if any)

 

Fund Account

APEC Support Fund 

Sub-fund

ASF: APEC Supply Chain Connectivity 

Project Year

2014 

Project Session

Session 1 

APEC Funding

150,000 

Co-funding Amount

94,000 

Total Project Value

244,000 

Sponsoring Forum

Committee on Trade and Investment (CTI) 

Topics

Trade Facilitation 

Committee

Committee on Trade and Investment (CTI) 

Other Fora Involved

 

Other Non-APEC Stakeholders Involved

 

Proposing Economy(ies)

United States 

Co-Sponsoring Economies

China; Japan 

Expected Start Date

01/04/2014 

Expected Completion Date

31/12/2015 

Project Proponent Name 1

Kenneth Schagrin (new PO wef 13 August 2015) 

Job Title 1

Director for APEC Affairs 

Organization 1

Office of the United States Trade Representative 

Postal Address 1

Not Applicable 

Telephone 1

Not Applicable 

Fax 1

Not Applicable 

Email 1

Kenneth_Schagrin@ustr.eop.gov 

Project Proponent Name 2

Ann Katsiak 

Job Title 2

Deputy Chief of Party 

Organization 2

US-ATAARI 

Postal Address 2

Not Applicable 

Telephone 2

Not Applicable 

Fax 2

Not Applicable 

Email 2

AKatsiak@nathaninc.com 

Declaration

Kenneth Schagrin and Ann Katsiak 

Project Summary

Maintaining procedures that allow for expedited release of goods, whether on the ground, in ports, or through air cargo, can exponentially reduce the time, cost, and uncertainty of goods through the region.  Developing economies participating in this project will receive hands on technical assistance at the operational level of their customs agencies to help them implement the elements of an expedited shipments program.  This capacity building project will also include assistance for studying the potential benefits and impacts of introducing/ raising de minimis thresholds, and expanding the scope of de minimis programs, in developing economies.

Relevance

In 2010, APEC Leaders set forth the objective of a 10% improvement in supply chain performance in terms of reduction of time, cost, and uncertainty of moving goods and services through the Asia-Pacific region. In Bali in October of last year, APEC Leaders recognized that achieving APEC’s 2015 objective of a 10% improvement in supply chain performance in terms of reduction of time, cost, and uncertainty of moving goods and services through the Asia-Pacific region will require robust capacity building efforts.

APEC Leaders in 2013 agreed to accelerate work to achieve that objective including by advancing the systematic approach to improving supply chain performance.   To that end they instructed officials to develop a capacity building plan to assist economies, particularly developing economies, in overcoming specific obstacles they face to improving supply chain performance.   In that regard, they established an APEC Sub-Fund on Supply Chain Connectivity and encouraged contributions of necessary resources to execute this capacity building plan.  Also in 2013, CTI completed Stage 1 of the systematic approach, when Ministers endorsed the inventories of policy recommendations for all eight Supply Chain Connectivity Framework Action Plan (SCFAP) chokepoints.   Lead economies are working hard to complete Stage 2, namely diagnostic reports for these chokepoints based on the inventories, which will identify specific performance improvements economies should make to meet the 2015 10% performance improvement objective. The results of these reports will feed into the design of the expedited shipments technical assistance activities.

A focus on expedited shipments directly links to the SCFAP List of Policy Inventories for Chokepoint 4- Inefficient clearance of goods at the border; lack of coordination among border agencies, especially relating to clearance of regulated goods at the border- Policy Recommendation 7 as well as Chokepoint 5- Burdensome procedures for customs documentation and other procedures [including for preferential trade]- Recommendation 3.

This project directly relates to two 2014 rank 1 criteria: trade facilitation and supply chain connectivity performance improvements.

Objectives

The following are objectives of this project:

1. Assist developing economies in implementing expedited shipments programs that move APEC towards its 2015 goal

2. Help economies’ meet obligations under the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement. (Article 7.8)

3. Directly involve officials in their supply chain agencies in receiving technical assistance efforts.

Alignment

This project responds to the 2010 APEC Leaders’ objective of a 10% improvement in supply chain performance in terms of reduction of time, cost, and uncertainty of moving goods and services through the Asia-Pacific region. In addition,

This project responds to Leaders call in October 2013 to:

“accelerate our work to achieve a 10% improvement in supply-chain performance by 2015 in terms of time, cost, and uncertainty, while taking into consideration individual economy’s circumstances, including by advancing the systematic approach to improving supply chain performance;

And [we] instruct officials to develop a capacity-building plan to assist economies, particularly developing economies, in overcoming specific obstacles they face in enhancing supply chain performance.”

In that regard, they established an APEC Sub-Fund on Supply Chain Connectivity and encouraged contributions of necessary resources to execute this capacity building plan.

This project can also serve as a mechanism to help member economies implement their WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement obligations. The activity-level terms of reference (TOR) for each recipient economy will be developed with the parameters of the TF Agreement in mind to ensure coherence.

CTI does not have a strategic plan, but In 2013 CTI adopted a work program organized around five priority areas that contribute to APEC 2013 Priorities under the theme of “Resilient Asia-Pacific, Engine of Global Growth.”  One of these areas, directly linked to this project, is promoting connectivity.

TILF/ASF Justification

This project will directly support capacity building efforts of developing economies as the activities in this project will be made up solely of tailored technical assistance activities for developing economies who volunteer to receive the technical assistance.

Beneficiaries and Outputs

Outputs: All countries face different challenges when it comes to development of a program that provides for expedited shipments.  Following confirmation that a volunteer economy would like to receive technical assistance, the project overseer will work with that recipient economy to develop a detailed terms of reference (TOR) for that element of the project that would be tailored to that economy’s specific needs in expedited shipments. The TOR will take into account the diagnostic reports for relevant chokepoints, the policy inventories as well as the WTO TF Agreement where applicable.

This TOR will be structured to include the following elements: targeted/participating agencies and officials responsible for expedited shipments in specific economy, timeline for implementation, proposed expert team, specified deliverables and indicators for measuring impact that would link the project directly to APEC’s overall ten percent performance improvement goal. The experts participating in the APEC Alliance for Supply Chain Connectivity (A2C2) will provide advice on the development and delivery of these projects, volunteering expertise and resources as appropriate. 

An outcomes and next steps report will be developed by project overseers in coordination with the consultant team at the completion of each technical assistance activity. This will be submitted to the developing economy to continue to guide them in program implementation following the TA program, as well as to the CTI for the information of other APEC economies.

Outcomes: It is expected that out of the economy-level technical assistance programs- domestic level expedited shipments programs will either be developed or strengthened as a result of the technical assistance programs. Economies will be asked to report out on the technical assistance programs at CTI meetings as a result of the capacity building efforts. Each TOR developed for a specific economy activity will include outcomes as well.

Beneficiaries: The primary beneficiaries and stakeholders of this project will include: 

(1) Public sector participants (officials from government ministries), including customs officials and ministries of trade, as well as other government ministries where relevant.

(2) Private sector representatives (from both large and small and medium sized enterprises) with trading interests at the regional and international level to encourage the “co-creation” of expedited shipments programs between the public and private sectors.

More specifics on target participants of the programs will be detailed in the economy-level TORs with volunteer economies.

Indirect beneficiaries include the business community at large, civil society and consumers, as studies show that implementing expedited shipment programs can facilitate trade, thus reducing the cost of goods to market.

Dissemination

All materials developed for the purposes of training will be made available via the APEC document database. The CTI as well as the Friends of the Chair (FOTC) on Supply Chain Connectivity will receive regular updates on the implementation of the expedited shipments technical assistance activities. At the end of each TA activity, an outcomes report will be developed and shared with the recipient economy and circulated at CTI. It will summarize the outcomes of the activity and make recommendations for additional areas that could be focused on for follow on technical assistance.

Outcomes will also be distributed to the SCCP, MAG and other relevant working groups.

Gender

Women will be directly and actively involved in the project. Technical assistance programs will be directed at both women and men involved in customs reforms. If the technical assistance program designed for an economy includes domestic workshops- the project proponents will ensure that the evaluation forms to be distributed at the end of the workshop will include information on gender for disaggregating of data for project assessment and will help in evaluation of specific responses of women and men.

Work Plan

·   By September 2014: one capacity building activity launched

·   By January 2015: at least two additional capacity building activities launched

·   By August 2015: at least three capacity building activities completed
 
The timeline for each TA activity will be determined as part of the TOR, as noted above. These technical assistance activities on expedited shipments will be implemented throughout the second half of 2014 and all of 2015.

Risks

The most significant risk to this project is that developing economies that would benefit do not volunteer to participate in the capacity building programs. To mediate this, project proponents will reach out directly to eligible economies to discuss opportunities for this program and determine if there is interest. On the other side, if there is extensive interest that exceeds the resources of this project, this could also be a risk because there is a finite amount of resources for the economy level programs.  At this point, project proponents would consider submitting a second project proposal for additional funding from the capacity building fund.

In addition, given the amount of tailoring of capacity programs that each economy will require, the appropriate experts might not be available at the time of the programs, and may require a complex combination of experts. The project proponents will work with a variety of sources to ensure the appropriate experts for each activity.

Finally, as the projects are short term in nature, the risk that economies do not have a long term result/impact of strengthening or creating an expedited shipments program does exist. Economies will be expected to report out on the impact and progress of the programs to CTI and the FOTC on supply chain connectivity incrementally following receipt of the technical assistance. If economies do not show progress, this will also be taken into account in the selection of volunteer economies for other supply chain fund projects, which hopefully will serve as additional incentive for economies to ensure ownership of the reforms following these short term programs.

Monitoring and Evaluation

Project overseers will obtain feedback from the economy- government officials at the completion of the programs to gauge impact of the activities. This will be done in the form of a survey for government officials. We will also ensure the contact details of participants is captured and stored to allow for possible future follow up evaluations.

Indicators will include number of government officials and private sector trained and number of days of technical assistance provided.

Since this is going to be an program implemented in an individual economy, project proponents will maintain regular communication with the lead government officials to make sure that programming is on target and will make changes along the way if trainings do not appear to be making an impact.

This project is meant to contribute to the broader APEC goal of a 10% improvement in supply chain performance in terms of time, costs and uncertainty by 2015. Thus, measuring the success of this project will be done as part of the work APEC is doing under the PSU to look at how APEC is improving on this target (note an interim assessment was done in 2013 with a final one to be undertaken, looking at a range of indicators, in 2016. This monitoring structure also includes an economy-level self-assessment which will allow all economies, including those that receive these technical assistance programs, to report out on changes. The framework also includes external indicators that measures clearance times. This will be the most efficient and effective way to measure impact of these programs within the context of the broader supply chain connectivity action plan framework.

Linkages

The activities will be closely implemented with the SCCP, given the customs focus. In addition, results and outcomes as well as plans and schedules of the work will be disseminated to the World Customs Organization as well as the World Trade Organization as it links to the Trade Facilitation Agreement.

We will want to build upon the best practices and lessons learned from other APEC CTI programs to develop future projects in this area, including proposing potential technical assistance activities that could respond to the needs identified during the project. Communication of results will be a key factor to maintaining momentum and ensuring future projects are well coordinated and non-duplicative.

In addition, APEC has done extensive work on studying the de minimis threshold, where a pathfinder was established and a capacity building program was developed to enhance the understanding of the economic and trade facilitative benefits and economic impacts of higher de minimis values, with the goal of assisting economies in joining the pathfinder according to their individual circumstances. This work contributed towards broader application of de minimis treatment in the region.

We will look to coordinate with other bilateral projects in these economies that are focused on similar issues- for example, USAID has a program in Vietnam that also deals with issues related to trade facilitation and we will look to coordinate efforts so that these short term programs under this project have longer term impact.

Sustainability

The goal is for economies that currently do not have existing/full-fledged expedited shipments programs, but are open to the possibility of exploring the potential benefits and impacts that come with the implementation of these programs, to receive in depth study and if desired training to help an economy launch and/or expand a program.

After project completion, economies will be better able to tap into resources available with the WCO and other international organizations as well as within APEC to continue to expand their programs. For example, an economy could use a time release study methodology for expedited shipments to gauge the impact of such a program and communicate those results to the trade community.

These economy-level activities will be focused, and there will no doubt be opportunities for further work that economies could take, either via separate APEC projects (for example, possibly applying for additional supply chain capacity building funding). This follow on work would like continue to be technical assistance for government officials and private sector, and not more general reporting or diagnostics. These types of programs are involved and it is likely that to have sustainable programs, economies will need to identify follow on activities to further implement and refine these programs in order to ensure the programs established are expansive and sustainable.

Project Overseers

Ms. Katsiak is deputy chief of party of the US-APEC US – APEC Technical Assistance to Advance Regional Integration and has managed and implemented more than ten APEC workshops over the last three years. She has more than 8 years of experience in trade facilitation and economic development issues, and presently provides program management and technical expertise on ASEAN and APEC programs for USAID. Ms. Katsiak holds an MA in International Affairs from George Washington University.

Ed Brzytwa: Ed Brzytwa is the Director for APEC Affairs at the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR). He has negotiated key trade and investment issues on behalf of the U.S. government at the World Trade Organization (WTO), the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation forum (APEC), and in numerous bilateral contexts.  He represents the U.S. on trade and investment issues in APEC, is responsible for developing, analyzing, and coordinating policy on APEC matters within USTR and in the U.S. government interagency process, and works closely with private sector stakeholders on APEC trade and investment initiatives.  He served previously at the U.S. Department of Commerce in the International Trade Administration.  As a Fulbright fellow, Ed earned a Master’s degree at the Diplomatic Academy of Vienna in Austria.  He also has a Master’s degree in Commercial Diplomacy from the Monterey Institute of International Studies in California and a Bachelor’s degree in The Classics from the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts.

Cost Efficiency

Not Applicable.

Drawdown Timetable

Not Applicable.

Direct Labour

It is envisioned that this project will engage several subject matter experts for in-economy capacity building activities. These experts will be independent consultants and once the economy terms of reference is refined, will be identified.

Waivers

Not Applicable

Are there any supporting document attached?

No 
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Version: 9.0 
Created at 04/07/2014 10:13  by Lucy Phua 
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Version HistoryVersion History

Project No.

Project Title

Project Status

Publication (if any)

Fund Account

Sub-fund

Project Year

Project Session

APEC Funding

Co-funding Amount

Total Project Value

Sponsoring Forum

Topics

Committee

Other Fora Involved

Other Non-APEC Stakeholders Involved

Proposing Economy(ies)

Co-Sponsoring Economies

Expected Start Date

Expected Completion Date

Project Proponent Name 1

Job Title 1

Organization 1

Postal Address 1

Telephone 1

Fax 1

Email 1

Project Proponent Name 2

Job Title 2

Organization 2

Postal Address 2

Telephone 2

Fax 2

Email 2

Declaration

Project Summary

Relevance

Objectives

Alignment

TILF/ASF Justification

Beneficiaries and Outputs

Dissemination

Gender

Work Plan

Risks

Monitoring and Evaluation

Linkages

Sustainability

Project Overseers

Cost Efficiency

Drawdown Timetable

Direct Labour

Waivers

Are there any supporting document attached?

hdFldAdmin

Project Number

Previous Fora

Secretariat Comments

Reprogramming Notes

Consolidated QAF

Endorsement By Fora

PD Sign Off

Batch

Forum Priority

Committee Ranking Category

Committee Priority

PDM Priority

Priority Within Funding Category

Monitoring Report Received

Completion Report Received

PMU Field 1

PMU Field 2

PMU Field 3

On Behalf Of

Proposal Status

Originating Sub-Forum

Approval Status
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