ASEAN Trade In Services Agreement (ATISA)

10/09/2019    1249

ATISA finished the negotiation and the Agreement document was signed on April 23, 2019 by the Economic Ministers of 7 ASEAN member countries within the framework of the 25th ASEAN Economic Ministers Meeting (AEM Retreat). After that, ATISA was signed by Myanmar (August 3, 2019) and Vietnam (September 2019) respectively. Philippines is the last ASEAN member to sign ATISA, on October 7, 2020. Therefore, this Agreement came into force from 5 April 2021.

ATISA is considered as a new step in the integration process of ASEAN services. Upon coming into force, this Agreement will replace the ASEAN Framework Agreement on Services (AFAS) that took effect since 1995, and deepen the integration and liberalization of the services sectors in the region. ATISA is expected to promote trade in services in the region and improve the competitiveness of enterprises exporting services in ASEAN.

As a  principle, ATISA establishes frameworks to implement liberalization commitments from AFAS, reduce discriminatory barriers between service providers, and lay a solid legal foundation and a more transparent mechanism for trade in services in the region.

ATISA applies a "negative list " approach. Under the negative list approach, all services sectors are considered as liberalised by default. A State would then list only those sectors/sub-sectors in which it has taken measures that it considers to run counter to the obligations of the agreement (also known as non-conforming measures). This contrasts with the positive list approach, in which a State has to explicitly list the sectors/sub-sectors in which it intends to liberalise.

Aside from the Agreement document, ATISA also includes three sectoral annexes under the ATISA, namely; Annex on Financial Services, Annex on Telecommunication Services; and Annex on Air Transport Ancillary Services. These annexes include sector-specific obligations intended for deeper commitments and strengthened regulatory cooperation. In addition, the Agreement also has Appendices I and II including the List of non-conforming measures of each ATISA member country, which will be determined by each ATISA member country and submitted to the ASEAN Secretariat. within 5 years, 7 years, 13 years depending on the country since the ATISA took effect.

Below are the documents of the Agreement:

Full text of ATISA (English)

Summary of the Agreement (English)

Content of the Agreement (English)

Annex on Financial Services (English)

Annex on Telecomumunication Services (English)

Annex on Air Transport Ancillary Services (English)

Reference Document (in Vietnamese): Handbook “Q&A about ASEAN Trade in Services Agreement (ATISA)”