As a major support to business mobility, the ABTC provides bona fide business travellers with pre-cleared entry to participating APEC economies. The ABTC holders enjoy fast-track entry and exit through special APEC lanes at major airports, and multiple short term entries to these economies.
With Russia's accession to the scheme in May 2010, all of APEC's 21 member economies now participate. The fully participating economies are: Australia; Brunei Darussalam; Chile; China; Hong Kong, China; Indonesia; Japan; Korea; Malaysia; Mexico; New Zealand; Papua New Guinea; Peru; Philippines; Russia; Singapore; Chinese Taipei; Thailand; and Viet Nam. Canada and the United States are transitional members.
As per the APEC Policy Support Unit study on “The Impact of Business Mobility in Reducing Trade Transaction Costs in APEC”, the ABTC Scheme reduced transaction costs for ABTC holders by 38% between March-July 2010 and March-July 2011, representing a total savings of USD3.7 million. Total at-the-border immigration time savings experienced by ABTC holders for the period March-July 2010 through March-July 2011 is 62,413 hours, a monetary value of USD1.9 million.
In 2011, a new security-enhanced ABTC was circulated. The new card is equipped with features that can prevent alteration and counterfeiting. An ABTC website was launched in 2012 to provide information for clients (ABTC holders and applicants). You can visit the website at http://travel.apec.org.
APEC Business Travel Handbook is a practical tool which provides a quick reference guide to the visa and entry requirements of APEC member economies. It lists the basic eligibility criteria and procedures for applying for visas and the terms and conditions that apply to business travellers. This information is provided for both short-term business visits and temporary residence for business people in APEC member economies.
APEC Business Travel Card Scheme Review: In 2014, the group completed a project to review the ABTC Scheme from end-to-end, which resulted in a set of recommendations and advice on the feasibility of developing and implementing system and business process enhancements, taking into account the needs of business travellers as well as privacy, security, system and data requirements of each APEC economy.