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GMS Customs administrations discuss efficient transit regimes

13 abril 2016

The World Customs Organization (WCO), in cooperation with the Regional Office for Capacity Building for Asia/Pacific (ROCB A/P), organized a WCO Sub-Regional Workshop on Transit for the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS). The Workshop was held from 6 to 8 April 2016 at the Regional Training Centre (Shanghai Customs College) in Shanghai, China. Sixteen Customs experts from the GMS member countries, namely Cambodia, China, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam, participated in the Workshop. Experts from Turkish Customs, Ugandan Customs and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) were also invited to take part.

Professor Jianguo Xiao, President of Shanghai Customs College, warmly welcomed participants and opened the Workshop. The aim of the Workshop was to facilitate the exchange of practical views on improving regional transit regimes in the GMS. The experts present discussed various topics, including information sharing systems, regional/international guarantees for transit and One Stop Border Posts (OSBPs), and learnt about the WCO's instruments and tools for effective and efficient transit regimes, such as the WCO Transit Handbook. They exchanged their national and regional experiences of transit and discussed various challenges in the GMS. They also visited the offices of Yanshang Customs in the Shanghai Pilot Free Trade Zone and observed operations and facilities for import, export and transit of goods.

The last day of the Workshop involved a discussion on regional initiatives, including the Cross Border Transport Facilitation Agreement (CBTA) for the GMS, supported by the ADB, and China’s Initiatives on Jointly Building Silk Road Economic Belt and 21st Century Maritime Silk Road. In addition, the experts discussed possible next steps to improve transit operations in the GMS. The participants focused in particular on legal frameworks, information technology and human resources, listing challenges and possible solutions to establish more efficient transit regimes in the subregion.

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