The WCO and the EEAS define future areas of cooperation

01 octubre 2013

On 27 September 2013, the Secretary General of the WCO, Mr. Kunio Mikuriya, met theExecutive Secretary General of the European External Action Service (EEAS), Mr. Pierre Vimont, who is also deputy to Mrs. Catherine Ashton, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the European Commission.

In the course of an extremely cordial exchange of views, future areas of cooperation between the WCO and the EEAS were discussed, particularly in terms of strengthening the capacities of the Customs administrations in countries in a humanitarian crisis orpost-conflict situation.

Mr. Vimont emphasized the crucial nature of the role played by Customs in collecting budget resources and in enforcement, two sovereign functions essential to restoring the rule of law. In this connection, he looked forward to the rapid development of a joint programme with the WCO on the ground.

Mr. Mikuriya, for his part, confirmed that the WCO was always ready to meet the urgent needs of its Members and, where appropriate, to cooperate with the EEAS once the necessary security conditions were met in the countries concerned.The rationale for this commitment was to provide humanitarian relief for the populations affected and to assist the economic recovery of countries in difficulties.

During the discussion, reference was made to the essential need for political will on the part of governments, which should participate in defining key areas of technical assistance in order to enable Customs revenue to be secured rapidly within the framework of strengthened border controls.

Further meetings have been planned for the coming weeks to set out in more detail common conditions for assistance on the ground in countries that request it.

Contact points were designated in both Organizations.