WCO supports A/P regions towards prompt implementation of the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement

15 junio 2016

10 June 2016, Kashiwa, Japan

The WCO, in cooperation with the WTO, ROCB A/P and Japan Customs, organized the WCO Asia/Pacific Regional Workshop on the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) from 6 to 10 June 2016 at the Regional Training Center in Japan (Japan Customs Training Institute) in Kashiwa, Japan. A total of 29 delegates from 23 WCO Member administrations in the A/P region participated in this important regional capacity event. This Workshop was initiated under the WCO Mercator Programme, following the one held in Jakarta, Indonesia, in March 2015.

The Workshop was opened with the remarks by Mr. Hiroshi Kishimoto, Deputy Director General of Japan Customs and Tariff Bureau, Ministry of Finance, in which he stressed the significant economic implications that could be accrued from the early and full implementation of the WTO TFA. As of 6 June 2016, when the Workshop started, 81 WTO Members had accepted the TFA and thus he anticipated that this instrument may enter into force by the end of 2016. Therefore, the Workshop was a very timely event.

The Workshop featured experience sharing among the Member administrations on least implemented provisions of the TFA, such as National Committees on Trade Facilitation, Authorized Operators, separation of the release of goods from determination of duties and taxes, risk management and post clearance audit, transit, advance rulings, establishment and publication of Time Release Studies. TFA provisions were linked to the WCO instruments and tools that would support Members in implementing the TFA with a view to deepening the Members’ understanding on these facilitation measures.

Participants actively contributed by sharing their national practices and experiences in their implementation, followed by interactive questions and answers sessions. In the context of the cooperation among relevant border agencies and private sector, the regional representative from the International Organization of Animal Health (OiE) for the Asia Pacific Region and Japan’s export industries association (JMC) joined the Workshop and contributed to the panel discussions.