India becomes Vice-Chair of WCO Council for the Asia Pacific Region

16 julio 2018

On 16 July, at the invitation of the Central Board of Indirect Tax and Customs (CBIC) of India, WCO Secretary General Kunio Mikuriya attended a ceremony organized in New Delhi on the occasion of India assuming Vice-Chairmanship of the WCO Council for the Asia Pacific Region.

The ceremony started with the “Lighting of the Lamps” by Minister of State for Finance, Shri Shiv Pratap Shukla, together with CBIC Chairman and incoming WCO Vice-Chair, Shri S. Ramesh, Member Customs of the Central Board of Excise and Customs, Shri Pranab Kumar Das, outgoing WCO Vice-Chair and CEO of Fiji Revenue and Customs Service, Mr. Visvanath Das, Director General of Japan Customs, Mr. Atsushi Iizuka and Secretary General Mikuriya. 

The underlying theme of the ceremony was “Customs Facilitating Cross Border Clearance” and, as part of his keynote address, Dr. Kunio Mikuriya thanked both the outgoing and incoming Vice-Chairs for the efforts they had made to enhance communication between the administrations of the Asia Pacific Region, as well as between the region and the WCO Secretariat, in order to ensure that the region’s needs and priorities were well reflected in the WCO’s strategic and operational plans.

He also highlighted some important areas of work for the WCO, such as trade facilitation, e-commerce, security and performance measurement, and expressed his expectation that the region would continue to play a leading role at the WCO through the Vice-Chairmanship of India.  

Following Dr. Mikuriya’s intervention, the representatives who also took part in the “Lighting of the Lamps” ceremony took the floor in turn, highlighting the significance of the Vice-Chair’s role and the importance of Customs in facilitating cross-border clearance.  

Senior officials from Australia, Korea and Singapore, as well as representatives of the Confederation of Indian Industry who co-organized the event also spoke during the ceremony.

The event was followed by a seminar organized by the Regional Office for Capacity Building on the Framework of Standards on Cross-Border E-Commerce, the recently adopted WCO instrument which aims to provide practical approaches on how to deal effectively with the phenomenal growth in cross-border e-commerce.