Regional Workshop on the Revised Kyoto Convention: Exchange of experiences between the countries of Central Asia (CAREC)

08 December 2014

The World Customs Organization (WCO) organized a Regional Workshop on the Revised Kyoto Convention (RKC) for member countries of the Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation (CAREC) Program, held from 17 to 21 November 2014 at Shanghai Customs College in China. The Regional Workshop, which received financial and logistical support from the Asian Development Bank and China's General Administration of Customs, was primarily attended by delegates from the Customs Administrations of Azerbaijan, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Pakistan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.

The Workshop was led by two experts from the WCO Secretariat and the Indian Customs Administration. During the first part of the event, the two experts shared their knowledge of the RKC with participants, especially the review process, the procedure for acceding to the Convention, the benefits conferred by accession to and/or implementation of the provisions of the Convention and their experience of comparative analysis of the gaps between the RKC and national legislation. In the course of their presentations, the experts also stressed the prominent role played by the WCO in the preparations for implementation of the World Trade Organization (WTO) Agreement on Trade Facilitation (TFA) recently concluded in Bali, Indonesia. In particular, the MERCATOR Programme, given over to this activity, was presented to delegates. The second main part of the Workshop was spent on an exchange of experiences between the different delegates, with some talking about the RKC accession process and others about implementation of the Convention.

Having listened to a variety of presentations on national experiences, the delegates made a commitment to ensuring quality implementation of the RKC as a vital component of trade facilitation. They also agreed to pursue their efforts to finalize the process of accession to the Convention against the specific backdrop characterized by the conclusion of the WTO TFA and in view of the latter's close linkage with the RKC as regards simplification and harmonization of Customs procedures. The commitments made by the delegates were reflected through the development, by each delegation, of an RKC implementation action plan.

The quality of the discussions during the different parts of the Workshop highlighted the strong level of interest shown by participants in issues related to the simplification and harmonization of border procedures. The success of the Workshop lay in the fact that it significantly enhanced delegates’ understanding of the RKC provisions, especially the benefits related to accession and implementation. The Workshop concluded with the drafting of an action plan by each delegation aimed at finalizing, as soon as possible, the accession procedure (for countries which are not yet Contracting Parties) and at ensuring or pursuing effective implementation of the RKC (for Contracting Parties).

On behalf of their respective administrations, the delegates greatly welcomed this timely collaboration and expressed their sincere gratitude to the WCO for all its technical assistance and capacity building support. The WCO Secretariat will continue to help the CAREC Customs administrations with their modernization efforts, and especially with implementation of the RKC.