Virtual launching ceremony of Indonesia’s Vice-Chairmanship of the WCO Council for the Asia Pacific Region

20 julio 2020

On 15 July, the Directorate General of Customs and Excise (DGCE), Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Indonesia held a virtual ceremony, attended by more than 450 participants, marking the start of Indonesia’s Vice-Chairmanship of the WCO Council for the Asia Pacific Region.

The ceremony started by DGCE officers performance of the official DGCE hymn, “Mars Bea dan Cukai”, to welcome the participants. WCO Secretary General Dr. Kunio Mikuriya conveyed, through a recorded video message, his highest gratitude and congratulation to the DGCE and the Director General, Mr. Heru Pambudi for assuming the indispensable role of WCO Vice-Chair in the region.

Dr. Mikuriya emphasized the necessity for Customs community to adopt new norms to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, while highlighting the importance of maintaining the spirit of “customs standing as one,” as sung by Indonesia Customs during the peak of the global health crisis. He concluded his message by affirming that he was confident that Indonesia would continue to play a leading role in the region and at the WCO in their new role as Vice-Chair.

The former Vice-Chair, Mr. M. AJIT KUMAR, Chairman of the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs, India, also provided a recorded message for the ceremony. He highlighted the significance of the Vice-Chair’s role and underscored the expectation for the active contribution of the new Vice-Chair.

Mr. Heru Pambudi elaborated on the need to further improve communication and connectivity among WCO members to promote the regional potential. He advocated for further efforts to strengthen cooperation in terms of capacity building and delivery of technical assistance to Members, as per their needs. He added that another focus of Indonesia’s Vice-Chairmanship will be to support and further develop cooperation in terms of exchange of data such as intelligence and enforcement data among Members in the region.

The event also saw a presentation by the Vice-Chair, congratulatory message from the participants and was concluded by the performance of a band.

With the negative impact of COVID-19 on borders and trades, Customs has a crucial role to play in facilitating the movement of goods, and minimizing the overall impact of the crisis on economies and societies. One effective and proactive approach is the sharing of experiences among Members, particularly in handling the movement of goods with the appropriate risk-management procedures. With the help of the WCO, Members can share their best practices regarding COVID-19 countermeasures on a dedicated page on WCO’s website.