Enhanced regional cooperation on risk management agreed at WCO Americas and Caribbean Customs Directors General Regional Conference

25 April 2014

At the invitation of the Director General of Uruguay Customs, Mr. Enrique Canon, in his capacity as Regional Vice-Chair, WCO Secretary General Kunio Mikuriya participated in the Regional Conference of Customs Directors General of the Americas and Caribbean, held in Lima, Peru on 23 and 24 April 2014.

At the opening ceremony, the President of the Republic of Peru, Mr. Ollanta Humala, stressed the importance of Customs reform in facilitating and securing the supply chain in support of business and urged enhanced regional cooperation. This remained a challenge for his country, although significant progress had been made in recent years.

Secretary General Mikuriya talked about the necessity and usefulness of using the WCO’s standards, including the Revised Kyoto Convention, to ensure connectivity at borders not only to advance regional integration, through bodies such as the Pacific Alliance formally established in Lima two years ago, but also to implement the WTO Agreement on Trade Facilitation. He then referred to the Authorized Economic Operator (AEO) programme launched by Peru two years earlier, with President Humala’s presence at the Conference demonstrating political support for Customs-Business Partnership to enhance trade facilitation in a secure environment. Some 10 countries within the Americas and Caribbean Region now have AEO programmes and are working towards greater consistency with a view to mutual recognition.

The Regional Conference reviewed the WCO’s priorities and adopted the Lima Resolution for a regional risk management strategy. The Directors General also elected Mexico as their new Vice-Chair. Additionally, they were given an opportunity to learn about Peru's new clearance system and its actions to combat illicit trade. All the participants appreciated the excellent organization of the Conference and the hospitality shown by Ms. Tania Quispe Mansilla, Superintendente of SUNAT (Peruvian Revenue Authority), Mr. Rafael Garcia, Head of Customs, and the other members of their team.