WCO addresses US Interagency Committee and holds discussions with the US Department of State, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the Smithsonian Institution

12 febrero 2016

Secretary General Kunio Mikuriya, at the invitation of Commissioner R. Gil Kerlikowske, US Customs and Border Protection (CBP), addressed the US Interagency Committee at CBP Headquarters in Washington D.C. on 10 February 2016.

Mr. Mark Koumans, Acting Assistant Commissioner, Office of International Affairs, CBP, welcomed representatives from more than twenty agencies with responsibility for various aspects of import/export regulation in the United States.

Secretary General Mikuriya outlined the core WCO programmes which focus on the facilitation and security of the supply chain, revenue collection, protection of society, and capacity building.

Delegates were provided with an update on the development of the U.S. Single Window project - a cornerstone of digital customs - which is currently well advanced.  The guiding principles as established by the private sector governing interaction with government agencies in the context of a Single Window were outlined as; necessity for a consistency of approach, agency shared risk management, and predictability.

The Secretary General and delegates from the various agencies exchanged views on a wide range of topics of interest.  The Secretary General expressed his appreciation for this type of a committee as an efficient means of coordinated border management.

The Secretary General also took part in the presentation of WCO Certificates of merit to this year's International Customs Day recipients in a ceremony that was delayed due to inclement weather.  The recipients, each of whom had displayed diligence and initiative and achieved some remarkable outcomes in the course of their work, were drawn from departments of CBP and the U.S.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency.

Secretary General Mikuriya also engaged in separate bilateral discussions with Commissioner Kerliowske and ICE Director Saldana.

Secretary General Mikuriya also met with the IMF Director Mr. Gaspar and his team of the Fiscal Affairs Department to discuss the role of Customs within a Revenue Authority structure. The parties agreed on the necessity of an optimally functioning and adequately resourced Customs within any amalgamated structure.  It was recognised that the role of Customs extends beyond that of revenue collection to trade facilitation and the protection of society, and these additional aspects must be recognised in any structure within which Customs operate.

Secretary General Mikuriya also met with Mr. T Countryman of the Department of State to discuss various U.S. funding initiatives, to thank the Department for donor funding, to report on the current status of the initiatives, and to seek continued support for WCO programmes.

The Secretary General discussed the issue of cultural heritage trafficking and possible coordination with museums to raise awareness, provision of training, and assistance to Customs.