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The New Computerized Transit System, that facilitates transit transport in many European countries, is the only fully operational paperless transit transport system. The success of this system has been the inspiration for the ASEAN Customs Transit System being developed by the countries in Southeast Asia. This guide attempts to provide a comprehensive understanding of the main components of an automated customs transit transport system and its functioning, aiming to deepen the knowledge on technical aspects of the automated customs transit transport system among the stakeholders in the ESCAP region. The guide goes into the details of system's architecture and components, as well as of their interaction. It also elaborates on one of the key features of an automated system that is the electronic exchange of messages among various stakeholders at the offices of departure, transit and destination respectively. Other key features explained by the guide are the functioning of the guarantee system, the use of flexible and comprehensive guarantees and their prompt discharge once transit is completed.

Legal and regulatory framework requirements for an automated customs transit transport system are also discussed. The guide reiterates that meeting the customs related requirements of transit is only one of the many challenges faced by international transport. As a fundamental premise no transit transport is possible without traffic and transit rights granted by the transit countries; in this regard the need for a framework agreement covering all aspects of transit transport is also emphasized. The guide concludes by providing a roadmap for countries interested in developing such a transit system. It suggests that decision should be based on a prior feasibility study to be conducted in order to capture the current state of customs automation and procedures in each participating country. Such study would recommend precise requirements and specifications for the hardware and software needed for operationalizing such a system.

The present guide complements two earlier studies on the subject developed by ESCAP, namely the Monograph series on Transport Facilitation and Logistics Development in Asia and the Pacific - Study on Paperless Transit (…) and the Guide to Paperless Transit (…).

It is hoped that the guide coupled with earlier studies on the subject would deepen the knowledge of the stakeholders about operational aspect of the automated customs transit transport system and also make them aware of the potential of leveraging information communication technologies to effectively and efficiently enforce the regulatory requirements while facilitating transit transport.

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