UPU Strategy Conference in Kenya
Nairobi, 22 September 2010
At the invitation of the Director General of the Universal Postal Union (UPU), Edouard Dayan, the WCO Secretary General, Kunio Mikuriya, spoke at the UPU Strategy Conference in Nairobi (Kenya) on 22 September 2010 to enhance cooperation between Customs and Post in combating illicit trade while facilitating legitimate postal traffic.
Secretary General Mikuriya recalled the long working relationship with the UPU and recognized the progress in developing the Post EDI (electronic data interchange) network. He also expressed concern about the growing number of seizures by Customs of illegal goods, including narcotics and counterfeits, using postal couriers, directly linked to internet sales. By way of example, postal traffic represents 34% of Customs seizure cases of counterfeited goods in 2009 according to EU statistics; this figure is alarming compared to 20% in 2007 and 24% in 2008.
Mr. Mikuriya was hopeful that information exchange between Customs and postal services utilizing EDI would enable Customs to get accurate data of postal consignments in advance for purposes of risk assessment to protect the health and safety of citizens and to ensure trade security, as this approach would in turn facilitate legitimate postal traffic. Quoting from the WCO’s Customs in the 21st Century vision, he stressed the importance of the partnership approach of Customs which applies to postal services as well in support of better risk management and use of technology.
The UPU Conference took note of the Secretary General’s contribution in reviewing the progress of its current strategy, adopted in 2008 by its Council, and in shaping a new one for its 2012 Council.
While in Nairobi, the Secretary General took the opportunity to visit the Kenya Revenue Authority to meet Commissioner General Waweru and Commissioner of Customs Namu who had just returned from Ethiopia in preparation for the tripartite agreement on capacity building involving the WCO.