Secretary General visits the Port of Antwerp

28 March 2014

At the invitation of Mr. Marc Van Peel, Chairman of the Port of Antwerp and Mr. Noel Colpin, General Administrator of Belgian Customs and Excise, Secretary General Kunio Mikuriya visited the Port of Antwerp on Thursday, 27 March.

Welcoming Mr. Mikuriya, the Chief Executive Officer of the Antwerp Port Authority, Mr. Eddy Bruyninckx, emphasized the need for port authorities to maintain a holistic view of the entirety of the supply chain and the necessity for transparent customs procedures to facilitate trade and to ensure that ports retained competitiveness.

Secretary General Mikuriya explained the background to the development of the Economic Competitiveness Package (ECP) and the range of WCO instruments available to ensure a balance between compliance and facilitation. He reiterated that the implementation of the ECP would ensure a fair and balanced approach to economic development.

Mr. Colpin outlined the restructuring underway in his Administration with an emphasis on streamlined procedures and stakeholder consultation. Participants were given an overview of the work of the National Forum-the trade/Customs consultative body in Belgium.

There followed a lively discussion with several representatives of the business community operating within the port including; Alfaport-VOKA, Antwerp Shipping Federation (ship agents), VEA (forwarding agents), Portmade, Federal Public Finance, Federal Public Justice, and Ecasba-Fonasba.

The visit concluded with a tour of the Port facilities including the DP World Container terminal and the Clearance Office for an overview of the Single Window environment where Customs, Police and the Food Safety Agency operate a unified approach to import control.

Secretary General Mikuriya expressed his appreciation to Mr. Colpin, Mr. Van Peel and the trade representatives for their warm welcome and insightful exchange of views.