Although these ASEAN national customs and trade authorities coordinate with each other, disputes can arise. The ASEAN secretariat does not have the legal authority to resolve these disputes, so disputes are resolved bilaterally through informal means or dispute resolution. Efforts to close the development gap and expand trade among ASEAN members are essential elements of the political debate. According to a 2008 research mandate published by the World Bank as part of its “Trade Costs and Relief” project, ASEAN members have the potential to reap significant benefits from investment in new trade facilitation reforms, as a result of the important customs reform already implemented by the ASEAN Free Trade Agreement. An international agreement entitled: Agreement establishing the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Area (AANZFTA), signed on 27 February 2009 in Cha-am, Phetchaburi, Thailand, has created a free trade area between ASEAN countries, Australia and New Zealand.  The AFTA agreement was signed in Singapore on 28 January 1992. When the AFTA agreement was originally signed, ASEAN had six members: Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand. Vietnam joined the country in 1995, Laos and Myanmar in 1997 and Cambodia in 1999. The AFTA now includes the ten ASEAN countries. The four laggards had to sign the AFTA agreement for ASEAN membership, but were given longer delays in complying with THE AFTA tariff reduction obligations. This new analysis proposes to examine two key areas, including port facilities and competitiveness in Internet services. According to the report, reforms in these areas could increase ASEAN trade by 7.5% ($22 billion) and 5.7% ($17 billion).
On the other hand, a reduction in tariffs on all ASEAN members on the South-East Asia regional average would increase intra-regional trade by about 2% ($6.3 billion).  In order to encourage the increased use of the CEPTAFTA system, a substantial transformation has also been adopted as an alternative rule for determining the origin of CEPT products. The CEPT Rules of Origin Task Force is currently working on key processing rules for certain product sectors, including wheat flour, iron and steel, and the eleven priority integration sectors covered by Bali Concord II. ASEAN exports increased their upward trend in the two years following the 1997-98 financial crisis and peaked in 2000, when total exports were valued at $408 billion. Following the fall in ASEAN exports to $366.8 billion in 2001 as a result of the economic slowdown in the United States and Europe and the recession in Japan, ASEAN exports recovered in 2002 to $380.2 billion. The upward trend in ASEAN-6 continued until the first two quarters of 2003. In the first two quarters of 2003, intra-ASEAN trade increased by 4.2% and 1.6% respectively in exports and imports. [Figures 2, 3 and 4] ASEAN national authorities are also traditionally reluctant to share or cede sovereignty to the authorities of other ASEAN members (although ASEAN trade ministries regularly conduct cross-border visits to conduct on-site checks as part of anti-dumping investigations). Unlike the EU or NAFTA, joint teams to ensure compliance and control of violations have not been widely used.
Instead, ASEAN national authorities must rely on the verification and analysis of other ASEAN national authorities to determine whether AFTA`s measures, such as the rule of origin, are being complied with.