Meeting of ASEAN Customs Directors General

14 June 2010

Meeting of ASEAN Customs Directors General

Phuket (Thailand), 9-11 June 2010


At the invitation of Director General Somchai Sujjapongse of Thailand Customs, WCO Secretary General, Kunio Mikuriya, attended the 19th Meeting of ASEAN Directors General of Customs that was held in Phuket (Thailand) from 9-11 June 2010.

Both Mr. Pradit Phataraprasit, the Thai Deputy Minister of Finance, and Mr. Sundram Pushpanathan, the ASEAN Deputy Secretary General, spoke at the opening ceremony. In his keynote speech at the opening ceremony, Secretary General Mikuriya stressed the importance of the role Customs can play in ensuring connectivity within and beyond ASEAN in maximizing the effect of regional integration.

The ASEAN Directors General of Customs then participated in an event at Phuket Customs during which IPR infringing goods were publicly destroyed to raise awareness of Customs’ role in protecting IPR.

During the ASEAN-WCO consultation session, the Directors General of Customs indicated their strong interest in working with the WCO; utilizing its knowledge and resources in pursuing the path from an ASEAN Free Trade Area (AFTA) towards an ASEAN Economic Community with the establishment of a single market.

The Deputy Secretary General of the ASEAN Secretariat echoed the interest expressed by the Directors General of Customs and stressed that ASEAN should work closely with the WCO. In this regard he proposed to draw up a short-term work plan between the ASEAN Secretariat and the WCO Regional Office for Capacity Building (ROCB) in Asia/Pacific to enhance cooperation in four specific areas: risk management; HS classification; enforcement; and integrity. During the session, Mr. Mikuriya took the opportunity to update delegates on the US 100% scanning initiative.