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Joint WCO-UPU Customs-Post Workshop

26 May 2015

Guangzhou, P. R. China, 19-22 May 2015

In line with the objectives of the MoU between the two organizations, the World Customs Organization (WCO) and the Universal Postal Union‘s (UPU) organized a Joint WCO-UPU Customs-Post Workshop – "Fostering greater cooperation between Customs and Posts and promoting the development of cross-border e-commerce" for the Asia Pacific (A/P) region in Guangzhou, P. R. China, from 19 to 22 May 2015. The workshop was co-hosted by the General Administration of China Customs (GACC), the State Post Bureau China and the China Post Group, and was supported by the Customs Cooperation Fund of China and the WCO Regional Office of Capacity Building for the A/P region.

The workshop was inaugurated by Mr. Pascal Clivaz, the Deputy Director General of the UPU. The inaugural ceremony was attended by the Vice-Minister GACC, the Director General, State Post Bureau of China, the Deputy Governor of Guangdong Province and the President of China Post Group, besides many senior officials from GACC and China Post. All the dignitaries highlighted the need for an enhanced collaboration between Customs and Post to better leverage new opportunities stemming especially from growing e-commerce and to collectively meet emerging challenges in the postal supply chain.

The Workshop was attended by over 100 participants representing Customs and designated postal operators from 33 countries.

The Workshop sought to improve participants’ knowledge of the relevant WCO and UPU instruments and tools and to strengthen the existing cooperative relationship between Customs and postal operators at the national level so as to enhance each other’s capabilities in facilitating postal items in a growing e-commerce environment whilst ensuring effective compliance with various regulatory requirements. It examined ways to promote advance electronic exchange of information (pre-loading/pre-arrival) between posts and Customs by using the UPU’s CDS and/or any other customized solutions based on the WCO/UPU Customs Post EDI messaging standards, for an efficient risk management to effectively mitigate security and other risks such as fiscal, health and safety.

Another important aspect of the workshop was the sharing of national experiences where Customs and postal officials delivered joint presentations on the existing situation regarding postal-Customs clearance and potential ways to improve it. Besides, experts from Swiss Post, US Customs and Border Protection (US CBP)/United States Postal Service (USPS), Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), Belgium Post, Deutsche Post (Germany) and Russian Post shared their respective working experiences, challenges and solutions they had successfully implemented, particularly in the area of cross-border e-commerce and strengthening working arrangements between respective Customs and post at national level.

Finally, participants also visited the Guangzhou Airmail Centre to observe practical aspects of the postal Customs clearance process.

Participants acknowledged the importance of the joint workshop, which provided a common platform to discuss issues of mutual interest and explore potential solutions in achieving shared objectives, besides learning from others’ working examples and best practices.

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