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Visit by the Secretary General to the United Kingdom's Customs and Border authorities

04 March 2010

Visit by the Secretary General to the United Kingdom's Customs and Border authorities

London, 1 March 2010

Report

On 1 March 2010, WCO Secretary General, Kunio Mikuriya, visited the UK's Customs and Border authorities.

During his stay in London he met with top officials from Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) – Chief Executive and Permanent Secretary Lesley Strathie, Director General for Business Tax Melanie Dawes, and Director Mike Norgrove and his team. He also met high-level officials from the recently established UK Border Agency (UKBA) – Chief Executive Lin Homer and Head of Border Force Brodie Clark.

In the course of the meetings, comprehensive discussions were held on a wide range of issues of interest both to the UK and to the WCO, including the UK’s new organizational arrangement. Both HMRC and UKBA pledged their commitment to the WCO and there was a fruitful discussion on areas of work where UK expertise could best be provided to assist the WCO and its membership as a whole.

The Secretary General also met with Sarah McCarthy-Fry MP, Exchequer Secretary to the UK Treasury with responsibility for Customs. Mr. Mikuriya explained the mission and objectives of the WCO as well as the future role of Customs; emphasizing the prominent part that the UK, one of the WCO’s founding Members, continued to play in the Organization.

Mr. Mikuriya said, “The UK as one of the founding Members of the WCO has always made a significant contribution to the work of the WCO including sharing its expertise with numerous Customs administrations in developing countries. For this reason I am pleased that both HMRC and the UKBA have maintained their core Customs competencies within their new organizational structure as this will ensure that they remain centres of excellence for the international Customs community.”