International Origin Conference in Korea

06 noviembre 2015

At the invitation of the commissioner Kim Nak-hoe of Korean Customs Service (KCS), WCO Secretary General Kunio Mikuriya participated in the International Origin Conference, held in Seoul, Korea on 5-6 November 2015.   

Secretary General Mikuriya delivered the keynote speech to thank the KCS' initiative of highlighting the importance of rules of origin in the era of mega free trade agreements. He described the changing trade landscape where regional integration became one of the major driving forces to gain economic competitiveness in the global value chain. Hence the importance of streamlining the procedures associated with the implementation of rules of origin and the need to enhance consistency between different rules of origin for different regional trade agreements.   

Mr. Mikuriya explained the WCO efforts in carrying out studies on existing rules of origin and producing guidelines and other tools in this respect.  He also announced that the WCO would accept the Korean proposal to transform the Korean-led International Origin Conference into a WCO Global Conference, the first of which would be held in 2017 outside Korea, probably in Africa with the support of the Korean Customs Cooperation Fund. This transformation would contribute to deepening common understanding on the procedures associated with  the rules of origin as well as enhancing consistency I between different rules of origin.  

The conference was attended by around 500 participants and tackled the issues of the WTO Agreement on Trade Facilitation (advance ruling), Cumulation provisions in the light of mega FTAs, the evolution of Direct Transportation towards Non-Manipulation clause and best practices.  International and Korean experts shared their experience and interacted the audience to share information and improve the utilisation of preferential tariffs, especially for small and medium size enterprises and strengthen cooperation among Customs administrations.