APEC gateway to simplify customs rules for FTAs
The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation said Monday it has opened a new online gateway to tariff and rules of origin information to help alleviate what it called the 'noodle bowl' effect of free trade agreements.
'APEC's 21 members account for around 44 percent of world trade, and have concluded over 40 intra-APEC free trade agreements,' the agreement said. 'However, businesses often don't take full advantage of these special trading arrangements because information on preferential tariffs and rules of origin can be difficult to find.'
'Business has told us that a lack of customs transparency is a major impediment to trade,' said Akihiko Tamura, convenor of APEC's market access group. 'APEC's new Web-based gateway helps lift this barrier by providing businesses with the information they need to better leverage the trade opportunities that exist in the region.'