WCO welcomes G20 Seoul Summit Declaration

15 November 2010

WCO welcomes the G20 Seoul Summit Declaration

Brussels, 15 November 2010

Press Release

The World Customs Organization (WCO) welcomes the outcomes of the G20 Seoul Summit which took place from 11 to 12 November 2010, in particular the commitment to strong, sustainable and balanced growth and efforts to reduce global imbalances.

The Seoul Communiqué contains policy measures to bolster, among other things, trade, capacity building, food security and anti-corruption measures.

The WCO actively engages with the G20. On 12 October 2010, the Organization sent a letter to the G20 Seoul Presidency presenting the international Customs community's views on a range of topics, including the promotion of trade facilitation measures embodied in the WCO Revised Kyoto Convention on the simplification and harmonization of Customs procedures, the enhancement of revenue collection capacity, the benefits of public-private partnerships, the Authorized Economic Operator (AEO) programme which forms an integral part of the WCO's SAFE Framework of Standards to secure and facilitate global trade, humanitarian relief for disasters such as the food crisis, environmental protection, and capacity building. The WCO is pleased to note that the Seoul Communiqué parallels the WCO recommendations.

"Trade facilitation opens and connects markets and thus contributes to sustaining the global economy as well as to the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals,“ said WCO Secretary General, Kunio Mikuriya. He added, "The benefits of trade facilitation are maximized when pursued with coordinated border management between border control agencies since it provides enhanced predictability, a streamlined regulatory framework and less border control.”

The WCO provides extensive capacity building assistance and supports the G20's continuous commitment to maintaining momentum for Aid for Trade. In particular, the WCO has developed a Revenue Package for the purposes of strengthening fair and efficient revenue collection in response to the global economic downturn which hurt public finances. This Package consists of two key objectives: promoting the effective use of currently available tools and instruments and upgrading this material to help WCO Members deal with the practical challenges faced, particularly in developing countries. Following consultations with its 177 Members, an Action Plan has been developed to address the main challenges identified which include the control and verification of Customs values and the implementation and verification of preferential rules of origin, against the backdrop of the recent proliferation of reciprocal free trade agreements.

The G20 tackled the issue of food security as part of its action plan as rising food prices have emerged as a matter of serious global concern. Customs administrations can play a role by facilitating the import of staple goods, sharing tangible and accurate information with relevant stakeholders, and simplifying and expediting Customs procedures by adopting and implementing the WCO Revised Kyoto Convention and the Istanbul Convention on temporary admission.

“I am very pleased that the G20 Seoul Summit took development issues on board in an earnest manner, which is critical in reinvigorating the global economy as well as reducing global imbalances,” stated Kunio Mikuriya. “This strong support will bolster WCO assistance to Customs administrations, increase cooperation with international and regional organizations, donors and our private sector partners,” added the Secretary General.

Links

G20 Seoul Summit Declaration

http://www.seoulsummit.kr/

WCO communication to the G20 Seoul Presidency