Project Title

Capacity Building and Technical Assistance to Implement Programs on Electronic Payments for Duties, Taxes, Fees, and Charges for Importation and Exportation 

Project Year

2014   

Project Number

CTI 17 2014A 

Project Session

Session 2   

Project Type

Standard 

Project Status

Completed Project   
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Project No.

CTI 17 2014A 

Project Title

Capacity Building and Technical Assistance to Implement Programs on Electronic Payments for Duties, Taxes, Fees, and Charges for Importation and Exportation 

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 2 

APEC Funding

100,000 

Co-funding Amount

125,000 

Total Project Value

225,000 

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

Australia; China; Japan; Philippines 

Expected Start Date

01/10/2014 

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

USTR  

Postal Address 1

2101 Wilson Blvd, Arlington, VA 22101, USA 

Telephone 1

1-703 5167700 

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

In a world where information can move quickly and securely across borders, allowing companies to make electronic payments for duties, taxes, fees, and charges can exponentially reduce the time, cost, and uncertainty of moving goods through the region. This capacity building project will deliver focused technical assistance to economies developing or implementing electronic payment systems.

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 this objective in terms of reduction of time, cost, and uncertainty of moving goods and services through the Asia-Pacific region would require robust capacity building efforts. Leaders agreed to accelerate work to achieve that objective including by advancing the systematic approach to improving supply chain performance and 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 Bali, 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 (SCCFAP) 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 our 2015 objective. Reports will be complete in August and the results of these reports will feed into the design of the release of goods technical assistance activities. 

In a world where information can move quickly and securely across borders, allowing companies to make electronic payments for duties, taxes, fees and charges can exponentially reduce the time, cost, and uncertainty of moving goods through the region. This capacity building project will deliver focused technical assistance to economies developing or implementing electronic payment systems.  It will also inform the development of electronic payment systems in other economies in and outside of APEC and to build constituent confidence in electronic payment systems by streamlining processes and removing obstacles. 

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

A focus on release of goods directly links to the SCCFAP List of Policy Inventories for Chokepoint Inventory for Chokepoint Inventory 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 8.

Objectives

The objectives of this project are as follows:

1. Assist developing economies in implementing programs that facilitate the release of goods prior to final determination of duties, taxes and fees, expediting flow of goods across the region and moving APEC towards its 2015 goal.

2. Align with economies’ potential obligations under the WTO Agreement on Trade Facilitation.

3. Reach the 2010 goal of 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.

Alignment

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

In addition, this project responds to the 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 pending 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 of this project, is promoting connectivity.

TILF/ASF Justification

This project will directly support capacity building efforts of targeted developing economies as the activities in this project will be made up solely of tailored technical assistance activities including customs and other government agencies, as well as the trade community.

Beneficiaries and Outputs

Outputs:  

All economies face different challenges when it comes to implementing programs on Electronic Payments for duties, taxes, fees, and charges for importation and exportation. 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 electronic payments. The TOR will take into account the diagnostic reports for 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 electronic payments in the specific economy, timeline for implementation, proposed expert team, specified deliverables and indicators for measuring impact that would like the project directly to APEC’s overall 10% 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. 

While outputs will be dependent on the developed TOR, they could include training on existing systems, development of a legal framework, review of existing legal e-commerce framework, and capacity building/business process analysis on implementing electronic payments systems in both customs and other border agencies.

Any outcome(s) or next step(s) reports 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 the CTI for the information of other APEC economies. Economies will be expected to periodically report to CTI on progress implementing recommendations and next steps from the program. 

Outcomes:  

It is expected that out of the economy-level technical assistance programs- procedures to implement domestic level programs on electronic payments will either be developed or strengthened as a result of the technical assistance. 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 will also address tangible technical assistance in line with local situations that are relevant for each economy and that address domestic level activities and needs as well as outcomes necessary. 

Specifically, we expect that as a result of the TA programs, outcomes will include changes in legal framework to allow e-commerce, modifications to procedures in customs and other border agencies to accommodate electronic payment, and possibly partnership with private sector to develop a business case and possibly identify effective e-payment solutions if no framework exists in an economy at present. Finally, increased capacity to use existing e-payment systems by government personnel would be an additional outcome depending on the scope of the economy-level project. 

In addition the project will deliver a TOR(s) to address tangible technical assistance in line with local situations that are relevant for each economy and that address domestic level needs. 

Beneficiaries:  

Direct beneficiaries will be composed of the targeted developing economies who will receive the TA described above, including customs and other government agencies, as well as the trade community. In the long-run improvements across the supply chain will lead to inclusive and sustainable economic growth and therefore improve livelihoods across member economies. The participation of developing as well as developed APEC economies is seminal to ensure the project’s success and will be important to ensure that participating economies identify their capacity-building needs in an open manner in order for them to be addressed accurately and completely.

It is not possible to be more specific on beneficiaries at this stage because it is solely dependent on the program in each economy and level of government officials and types of trade partners will be determined by the economy-level needs.

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. In addition, all activities will be coordinated closely with the SCCP.

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

The timeline for each TA activity will be determined as part of the TOR, as noted above. These technical assistance activities will be implemented throughout 2015.

It will be targeted that two economy level activities will be in the implementation stage by March 2015. This TOR, noted above, will be structured to include the following elements: targeted/participating agencies and officials responsible for release of goods in the 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 terms of reference document for each economy will be developed in close consultation with the economy’s customs divisions. As an initial step in the process, the project overseer will ask for a brief status update from the economy on the current e-payment infrastructure and a priority list of focus areas for the activity. The TOR will then be developed with these inputs, which should include any relevant data or statistics that will assist in setting a basement for monitoring and evaluation. 

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. Project overseers have already begun to discuss the project with potential recipient economies who have indicated preliminary interest, especially because this will also be a priority area in the TFA. This gives the overseers reasonable confidence that there will be demand for the assistance. 

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. 

On timeline, the project overseers will have consistent contact with the host economy to ensure that timelines are met, with monthly status calls and or email discussions to ensure that time does not pass to allow for significant deviation from agreed upon timeline and deliverables. we are already taking this approach with two current capacity building activities under another APEC project and it is proving to be effective. 

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. Indicators will include number of government officials and private sector trained and number of days of technical assistance provided. It is not possible to know target training numbers until the scope of the project is determined, however most trainings would be in the range of 20-50 government officials. 

Following confirmation that a volunteer economy would like to receive technical assistance (TA), the project overseer would work with that recipient economy to develop a detailed terms of reference (TOR).  The TOR for assistance in electronic payments would be tailored to that economy’s specific needs. The TOR(s) will take into account the diagnostic reports for relevant chokepoints and CTI’s endorsed policy inventories.  In addition, TOR(s) will address commitments to the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement where applicable. For purposes of this project and to determine how the TA model will work in practice, this project will focus on at least 2-3 activities, which could then lead to additional TA being developed based on the outcomes of these initial projects.

Examples of the scope of work include: legal and regulatory drafting and information technology interoperability. 

Baseline data would include the number of current payments for taxes, duties, etc that are currently put through the economy’s e-payment system, disaggregated by agency involved in the trade process.

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 (WCO), the World Trade Organization (WTO) private sector and the work agenda of the Electronic Commerce Steering Group (ECSG) might also serve as a useful reference. In addition, other stakeholders such as academia and non-governmental organizations who are presently engaged and linked to the Trade Facilitation Agreement will be engaged in these activities.

If economies who volunteer for this project are also active on other supply chain capacity building projects, we will look to coordinate efforts and ensure that activities remain discreet and do not duplicate. Where there is overlap, we will look to coordinate trainings so that recipients, have efficiently implemented programs that demonstrate the linkages between topics. 

We will also 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. 

Stakeholders include APEC governments, multilateral organizations such as the World Customs Organizations (WCO) and WTO private sector, academia, and non-governmental organizations who are presently engaged in trade facilitation initiatives in the region, and also via the WTO’s Trade Facilitation Agreement.

Sustainability

The goal is for economies that currently do not have existing/full-fledged programs on electronic payments, 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. 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. 

The final report for each economy-level project will include a list of recommendations and next steps that the economy should undertake to keep improving their e-payment processes and systems. This will be submitted to the economy and used for the economy to continue to report out to the CTI on progress following the TA.

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

The project overseers would note that, if economies volunteer for this project and are also participants in other related projects (CTI 07 14A, CTI 05 14A, CTI 16 14A, CTI 17 14A), we will look to see if activities can be coordinated, or held back to back to help leverage resources, especially if target audiences are the same.

Drawdown Timetable

Not Applicable.

Direct Labour

Not Applicable.

Waivers

Not Applicable.

Are there any supporting document attached?

No 
Attachments
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Created at 12/01/2015 16:59  by Lucy Phua 
Last modified at 14/09/2018 15:04  by Lucy Phua 
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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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