Prior to the full implementation of the ACFTA, an Early Harvest Programme (EHP) was implemented on 1 January 2004. Under the EHP import duties on all products at 8/9 digit levels in HS Chapters were eliminated effective 1 January 2006. Products covered under the EHP are as follows:
|02||Meat and Edible Meat Offal|
|05||Other Animals Products|
|08||Edible Fruits and Nuts|
Subsequent to the implementation of the EHP, the ACFTA Agreement on Trade in Goods signed on 29 November 2004 entered into force on 1 July 2005. Article 3 of the Agreement defined the modality for tariff reduction and elimination for Normal Track and Sensitive Track products beginning 2005.
Tariffs for goods listed under the Normal Track 1 (NT1) were eliminated from 2005-2010. An additional 150 tariff placed under Normal Track 2 (NT2) were eliminated on 1 January 2012. Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar and Viet Nam (CLMV) were given flexibility to eliminate tariffs on products in NT1 by 1 January 2015 and NT2 by 1 January 2018.
Based on the agreed modality for tariff reduction, ASEAN-6 (Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, Malaysia, The Philippines, Singapore and Thailand) and China have eliminated import duties on over 90 per cent of the tariff lines effective 1 January 2012.
The ACFTA Trade in Goods Agreement also provides for the subsequent liberalization of products in Sensitive Track. Beginning 2012, ASEAN-6 and China have commenced tariff reduction on products in the Sensitive List. ASEAN-6 and China shall reduce the tariff rates placed in Sensitive List to 20% on 1 January 2012 and to 0-5% by 2018. For Highly Sensitive List, duties will be reduced to 50% in 2015 with no further tariff reduction commitments thereof. CLMV will reduce or eliminate import duties on sensitive list products to 20% by 1 January 2015 and 0-5% by 1 January 2020. For products in the Highly Sensitive List, CLMV will reduce import duties to 50% by 1 January 2018.
ASEAN and China have also signed The Protocol to Incorporate Technical Barriers to Trade and Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures into the ACFTA Trade in Goods Agreement (TIG) which entered into force on 1 January 2013. Customs Procedures and Trade Facilitation (CPTF) Chapter, expected to be completed in 2015, will also be incorporated into TIG Agreement that is aimed at simplifying and promoting transparency in import and export procedures. A review on Rules of Origin is also being undertaken to improve the Rules of Origin and to enhance the utilization of the ACFTA.