WCO Welcomes APEC Ministerial Statement

19 mayo 2016

On 18 May, the APEC Ministers Responsible for Trade (MRT) issued a Joint Ministerial Statement.

This Joint Statement refers to new actions which focus on APEC 2016 priorities, such as Advancing Regional Economic Integration and Working on the Modernization of Micro, Small and Medium-Size Enterprises (MSMEs). The Statement reconfirms the importance of trade facilitation as an essential part of Regional Economic Integration, and sets out very concrete actions for expanding regional trade in Asia-Pacific Member economies.

The Joint Statement highlights a number of key issues for Customs administrations and border agencies. These include supply chain connectivity, implementation of the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA), Authorized Economic Operator (AEO) Programmes, AEO Mutual Recognition and Single Window. The Trade Ministers noted, in particular, that APEC economies would continue to promote effective, secure trade and facilitation in the region, based on the international standards developed by the WCO.

WCO Secretary General Kunio Mikuriya has welcomed the APEC Ministerial Statement and the development of APEC projects. The WCO will continue to contribute to APEC’s actions by providing expertise to relevant APEC Committees, such as the Sub-Committee on Customs Procedures, and by sending experts to participate in APEC projects on a regular basis. Moreover, the WCO Mercator Programme will support APEC economies in their endeavours to implement the WTO TFA in an effective and harmonized manner.

The Secretary General was pleased to note that the Joint Statement highlights AEO, Single Window, Interconnectivity and Implementation of the WTO TFA, because these topics are also high on the agenda of the international Customs community. Thus, in order to support AEO programmes, the WCO organized the Global AEO Conference in Cancun, Mexico on 11 May. More than 1,000 delegates from over 80 countries attended this event. Also, a range of IT-related topics, including Single Window and Interoperability under the concept of Digital Customs, will be discussed at the WCO IT Conference to be held from 1 to 3 June in Dakar, Senegal.

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