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WCO welcomes UK TFA funding support for Mercator Programme

08 diciembre 2014

At the Policy Commission's 72nd Session in Recife, Brazil, Secretary General Kunio Mikuriya welcomed the United Kingdom Government's announcement, in its Autumn Statement, of funding to help developing countries implement the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA), making specific reference to partnering with the WCO. He thanked the UK for making a commitment to assign £3 million to TFA implementation over a three-year period from 1 April 2015. This will serve, inter alia, to support the WCO Mercator Programme, including development of a pool of experts, assessments, etc.

The Mercator Programme, aimed at achieving efficient and effective Customs to enhance economic competitiveness, takes a dual-track approach to assist governments worldwide to implement trade facilitation measures, including TFA provisions, expeditiously and in a harmonized manner by using core WCO instruments and tools such as the Revised Kyoto Convention (overall track) and with tailor-made technical assistance (tailor-made track).

Customs Directors General present at the Policy Commission session welcomed and thanked the UK on its commitment. The Secretary General said that such generous contributions to the Mercator Programme would help the WCO to showcase success stories, which would be a strong driver for Members’ motivation and endeavours to accelerate the implementation of trade facilitation measures and promote economic competitiveness. He added that this would encourage other potential donors to contribute similarly.

The Secretary General said that the Secretariat would now work with HM Revenue and Customs to finalize a work plan to ensure that the UK's significant contribution effectively supported developing country Members in their efforts to implement the provisions of the TFA.