WCO Welcomes APEC Ministerial Statement

26 May 2015

The World Customs Organization (WCO) welcomes the APEC Statement adopted at the Meeting of APEC Ministers Responsible for Trade held on 23-24 May 2015, in Boracay, Philippines.

Emphasizing the importance of economic regional integration, supply chain connectivity and SMEs’ participation in regional and global markets, the APEC Ministerial Statement mentions a number of Customs-related initiatives such as pre-arrival processing, expedited shipments, advance rulings, electronic payments and Authorized Economic Operators (AEO). The Statement encourages APEC members to advance implementation of the APEC Customs 3M (Mutual Recognition of Control, Mutual Assistance of Enforcement and Mutual Sharing of Information) Strategic Framework, with a view to further simplifying and harmonizing customs procedures and enhancing supply chain connectivity among APEC member economies.

Secretary General Mikuriya spoke about ongoing close cooperation between APEC economies and the WCO. He reaffirmed that the WCO would continue to actively support and provide expertise to APEC projects. The WCO has launched the Mercator Programme to support the harmonized and effective implementation of various trade facilitation measures. Under the Programme, the WCO will deliver tailor-made technical assistances and develop further instruments and tools in response to Members’ needs. The Mercator Programme will support APEC economies in their efforts for enhancing regional integration, supply chain connectivity and SMEs’ internationalization.

In this regard, the WCO is pleased that the APEC Statement encourages officials to keep exploring ways to strengthen the coordination and synergies with international and regional organizations including the WCO.