PACER Plus: Enhancing Trade Facilitation in the Region

2 July 2024

ALOFI, Niue – The Pacific Agreement on Closer Economic Relations (PACER) Plus continues to advance its objective of facilitating trade and investment among its 10 member countries. A critical component of this effort is the integration of customs and postal operation systems, a goal furthered by the recent feasibility study on the interface between the United Nations Trade and Development (UNCTAD) ASYCUDA World Systems for Customs and the Universal Postal Union (UPU) Customs Declaration System (CDS) for postal operation in Niue.

Currently, the lack of integration between customs and postal systems causes delays and inefficiencies in the processing and clearance of international shipments. These challenges hinder the speed and cost-effectiveness of doing business online, affecting both businesses and consumers in the PACER Plus countries.

Niue's Minister for Finance and Infrastructure, Hon. Crossley Tatui (front row, fifth from right) with the Australian High Commissioner to Niue, H.E. Katy Stuart (front row, fourth from right), the New Zealand High Commissioner to Niue, H.E. Mark Gibb (front row, sixth from right), and Niue's public and private stakeholders.

The UPU CDS is a software application designed to enable the exchange of messages between customs and designated operators, allowing customs formalities to be completed before the arrival of postal items. By facilitating electronic data exchange between customs and postal authorities, the interface significantly streamlines the customs clearance process for e-commerce shipments. This advancement reduces the time and cost of doing business online for both businesses and consumers within PACER Plus member countries thus restoring confidence in the use of postal services for sending and receiving goods, especially e-commerce items.

The UNCTAD ASYCUDA World system, widely used for customs management, and the UPU CDS, a standard for postal operations, are anticipated to yield significant benefits when integrated. These benefits include enhanced efficiency, transparency, and speed of cross-border trade in the region.

Hon. Crossley Tatui, Niue's Minister for Finance and Infrastructure, expressed his support for the initiative: "The successful integration of customs and postal systems through the PACER Plus agreement marks a significant step forward in facilitating trade and investment in our region. This initiative not only streamlines processes but also enhances transparency and efficiency, ultimately benefiting our businesses and consumers. We are excited to see the positive impact this will have on Niue."

Mr. Roy Lagolago, Head of the PACER Plus Implementation Unit, highlighted the pioneering nature of this initiative: "The rollout of this interface across the Pacific will make our region the first in the world to adopt such a harmonised system. This achievement is testament to the commitment of PACER Plus to leveraging technology to drive economic growth and improve trade facilitation for all PACER Plus members."


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