The Revised Kyoto Convention Management Committee (RKC/MC) at its 16th Meeting held from 6 to 7 April 2017 discussed and endorsed the interim report presented by a Virtual Working Group (RKCVWG) established during its 15th Meeting held in November 2016. The RKC/MC comprises of all Contracting Parties to the Convention; Non-Contracting parties as well as representatives of some international governmental and non-governmental organisations are entitled to attend sessions as observers. The status and the right of observers are determined by decision N° 305 taken by the Council during its 97th/98th sessions held in June 2001. The RKC/MC was established to consider the implementation of the Convention, any measures to secure the uniformity in the interpretation and application thereof as well as any amendments proposed.
The Revised Kyoto Convention (RKC) is the International convention on the simplification and harmonization of the Customs procedures as amended in 1999. This Convention is known as the blueprint for modern and efficient Customs procedures in the 21st century. The RKC entered into force on February 3, 2006 and has already 108 Contracting Parties. Its increasing implementation is providing international commerce with the predictability and efficiency that modern trade requires.
In her opening remarks, Ms. Ana B. Hinojosa, WCO Compliance and Facilitation Director, highlighted, among other things, several WCO ongoing efforts in the area of the accession to and implementation of the RKC and she appreciated the increase in the number of Contracting Parties. She underlined that the WTO Agreement on Trade Facilitation (TFA) has come into force as of 22 February 2017 which called for a renewed focus on its implementation. Since the RKC is the key instrument extensively used in TFA, she noted that, with its detailed Guidelines, it can be equally useful in the implementation of TFA measures together with other related WCO instruments and tools.
At this Meeting, the RKC/MC examined of the interim report of the RKCVWG that was mandated to map out the process and develop a plan including key objectives, broad approach, tasks, and roadmap relating to the potential review of the RKC. The said RKCVWG was also tasked to examine how other international organizations updated their respective conventions. RKCVWG had robust and fruitful discussions on the way forward and the RKC/MC endorsed its proposal for a review of the Convention, in a comprehensive manner. Finally, the RKC/MC endorsed the interim report as presented by the Chair of the RKCVWG noting the contributions and interventions from delegates.
The final report of RKCVWG is expected to be submitted to the next RKC/MC meeting in the autumn of 2017 for its consideration and endorsement. The Secretariat is expected to supply a research study on how other international organizations update and monitor their respective Conventions.
Overall, the RKC/MC Meeting generated animated discussion, active engagement and high level of commitment from the participants. The RKC/MC expressed its gratitude to the presenters from Cameroon and India who shared their experiences on the implementation of certain RKC provisions included in the General Annex and Specific Annexes as well as lessons learnt.