At the invitation of the International Air Transport Association (IATA), WCO Secretary General Kunio Mikuriya delivered a keynote speech at the opening session of the IATA Cargo Security and Facilitation Forum being held in Brussels, Belgium, from 11 to 12 October 2016.
The Secretary General touched upon several issues of mutual concern to both the global Customs community and the private sector, in particular facilitation and security of the air cargo supply chain and ongoing WCO’s work in that domain. Among other things, he underlined the need for regulators to work more closely with the industry on these issues and highlighted that the WCO had been collaborating with IATA and other international organisations.
Dr. Mikuriya shared his thoughts on emerging trends in globalisation, the importance of technology in connectivity and enhanced service delivery, growing e-commerce, and the role of SMEs recognizing the significant role of the air cargo industry in these areas. In this context, he mentioned WCO’s recent initiatives such as the multi-stakeholder E-commerce Working Group; Digital Customs; and coordinated risk management approach as enshrined in three pillars of the SAFE Framework of Standards to effectively address emerging threats and risks in the international supply chain, whilst facilitating legitimate trade flows.
Finally, Dr. Mikuriya reiterated the WCO and Customs’ central role in the implementation of the WTO Agreement on Trade Facilitation, which was primarily based on the WCO Revised Kyoto Convention. He also highlighted the role of private sector operators in supporting Customs in the fight against illicit trade and smuggling of cultural heritage and wildlife.