WCO supports Time Release Study (TRS) in Malaysia

15 September 2020

In response to a request from the Royal Malaysian Customs Department, the World Customs Organization (WCO) participated in a National Workshop on the Time Release Study (TRS) data analysis from 3rd to 4th September 2020, with the aim of supporting Malaysia in concluding its current TRS cycle. The Workshop was attended by more than 20 officials from the Customs Department.

During the two-day Workshop, a WCO TRS expert gave a presentation on the specifics of the WCO TRS methodology.  He also highlighted for participants the important biosafety measures that the WCO now recommends for Customs Administrations to introduce when they are carrying out a TRS in the current COVID-19 environment.

Furthermore, following directives presented in the WCO TRS Guide Version 3, the WCO expert underscored different aspects that Customs Administrations should consider when collecting and analyzing TRS data, and he listed key elements to be incorporated in an ordinary TRS national report, including information concerning possible findings and necessary measures to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of border procedures. 

The participants appreciated the information provided by the WCO and shared essential documents that the national TRS Working Group had drafted to support the accomplishment of the TRS cycle in Malaysia, predominantly the national TRS Action plan, which indicates that the country started the TRS cycle this year and is likely to conclude it by the end of year.

Malaysia is currently carrying out a TRS in 5 five major Customs ports in cooperation with other cross border regulatory agencies and the private sector under the leadership of the Royal Malaysian Customs Department. The result of the TRS will be used by the Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia to conduct a further study on trade transaction costs in the region.

The WCO would like to highlight that the TRS is specifically referenced in Article 7.6 of the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) as a tool for Members to measure and publish the average release time of goods. The TRS is increasingly being used by Members with respect to strategic planning and the proper sequencing of TFA measures in accordance with their National Committees on Trade Facilitation (NCTF).