By The ASEAN Secretariat
The ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) 2025 Blueprint envisions creating a deeply integrated and highly cohesive ASEAN economy, among others, to facilitate the seamless movement of goods within ASEAN to enhance ASEAN’s trade and production network.
To further boost this effort, ASEAN is upgrading the ASEAN Trade in Goods Agreement (ATIGA) to include provisions to facilitate trade, including the elimination and prevention of the use of non-tariff barriers, address implementation issues, promote transparency to enhance intra-ASEAN and facilitate AMS’ participation in global and regional supply chains.
In addition to ATIGA, ASEAN has signed several Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) with its dialogue partners, including China, Japan, the Republic of Korea, India, Australia, New Zealand, and Hong Kong, China, and regional agreements such as Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).
However, evidence suggests that the utilisation rates of most FTAs involving ASEAN countries are low and are mostly below 50%. Businesses, particularly MSMEs, have difficulties to utilise FTAs. Recognising this issue, ASEAN Economic Ministers (AEM) launched the upgraded ASEAN Tariff Finder at the sideline of the 55th AEM Meeting in Semarang, Indonesia.
ASEAN Tariff Finder
The new ASEAN Tariff Finder is an online platform designed to support traders to maximise benefits from regional and bilateral Free Trade Agreements (FTAs), including the ASEAN Trade in Goods Agreement (ATIGA), ASEAN+1 FTAs, and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Agreement.
The ASEAN Tariff Finder is now ready to support users, particularly Micro, Small, and Medium Sized Enterprises (MSMEs), who wish to explore the markets of more than 160 countries. The tool is free for all traders located within the region to get accurate and constantly updated information on customs and trade regulations, rules of origin, and market access requirements, among other things, which would save businesses from the stress of uncertainty, layers of bureaucracy, and long searches.
Step-by-Step Guide to Utilising the New ASEAN Tariff Finder
1. Signing up to the ASEAN Tariff Finder
Businesses must set up their account in the ASEAN Tariff Finder using a valid email to
access the platform. Businesses are also asked to provide basic business information such as location and sector. Upon successful registration, users will be requested to verify their email by following the link provided in the email confirmation.
2. Identifying Product Code and Country of Origin and Destination.
Users may key in either the product code based on the Harmonised System (HS) or the keywords, the country of origin, and the country of destination in the platform as shown below.
3. Check all requirements for customs clearance and market access
ASEAN Tariff Finder provides information on Most Favoured Nation (MFN) duty rates, tariff quotas and suspensions, preferential duty rates for goods, and additional duties levied at import. It also provides information on turnover taxes such as Value Added Tax (VAT) or sales tax, excise duties, or other taxes and charges levied before goods are released for free circulation.
Further, it also contains information on the relevant non-tariff measures for the specific product in the destination country. All the country datasets contain (i) a detailed country overview, (ii) general requirements relevant for all products, (iii) specific requirements relevant for certain products, (iv) a delineation of documents required for customs clearance and market access, and (v) detailed descriptions of the measures with translation of possible forms from the original language to English.
Benefits for Businesses
Easing the Research Process to Utilise FTAs ASEAN Tariff Finder becomes a one-stop information platform with a comprehensive, accurate, and most updated list of FTAs. It will enable businesses to find the most competitive FTA for their product. Furthermore, businesses can save time and resources, as all trade-related information is readily accessible through the ASEAN Tariff Finder, offered free to all businesses within the ASEAN region.
Benefit from Lower Tariffs
The application of the corresponding rules of origin in FTAs may lead to reduced tariff rates or duty-free access for the product. ASEAN Tariff Finder will show the applicable rates for all the existing FTAs enabling businesses to choose the FTA that offers the most competitive preferential margin. The platform will also show the relevant specific rules of origin that will guide businesses in fulfilling the required trade documents.
The ASEAN Tariff Finder is accessible at https://tariff-finder.asean.org
This article was first published by the ASEAN Secretariat in their ASEAN for Business Monthly Bulletin in August 2023.
About ASEAN for Business
ASEAN for Business is a bulletin published by the Enterprise and Stakeholder Engagement Division of the ASEAN Secretariat. This monthly bulletin provides quick updates on specific topics related to the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) for businesses operating in the region.