WCO and OTIF sign a Memorandum of Understanding

11 July 2017

The WCO Secretary General Kunio Mikuriya and the Secretary General of the Intergovernmental Organisation for International Carriage by Rail (OTIF) François Davenne signed on Monday 10 July 2017 a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to enhance cooperation between Customs administrations and the railways sector.  This is the first formal arrangement on cooperation between the WCO and a railway organization. The signature of this MoU was organized in the margins of the WCO Global Transit Conference currently being held at World Customs Organization (WCO) Headquarters in Brussels.

The accelerated development of railway transport corridors between Europe and China and the challenges concerning harmonization of transport documents, technical standards and the use of electronic records and simplification of customs procedures require a stronger cooperation between Customs and railways in terms of trade facilitation and regional integration. Both Customs administrations and railways organizations understand the need for heightened cooperation in the light of the ever-increasing share of transcontinental transit via railways. The spheres for more intensive cooperation encompass the removal of obstacles to the crossing of frontiers in international rail traffic, better information exchange, simplification of formalities, enhancement of security and further work on the acceptance of transport documents for Customs formalities.

The Parties to the MoU have committed to support each other with standard-development and technical assistance activities and to define and organize consultations and provide mutual assistance.