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WCO participates in American Chamber of Commerce’s session on “Facilitating Secure Trade and Economic Growth”

23 janvier 2015

Brussels, 20 January 2015

Upon invitation of the American Chamber of Commerce to the EU (AmCham EU) and the Chair of its Customs and Trade Facilitation Committee, Mr. Walter Van der Meiren, the WCO participated in an AmCham EU session on "Facilitating Secure Trade and Economic Growth" that was held in Brussels on 20 January and attended by more than 60 participants from the private sector and Customs administrations. In her opening address, the WCO Deputy Director Compliance and Facilitation, Ms. Heike Barczyk, referred to recent developments like the Trade Facilitation Agreement of the World Trade Organization or terrorist attacks on global level that were all relevant to the tasks of Customs to facilitate legitimate trade while at the same time contributing to protecting society in the area of safety and security, not underestimating either the revenue collection function of Customs. Relevant WCO instruments, tools, initiatives and programmes, she continued, all aim at harmonized implementation of international standards, including the SAFE Framework of Standards and the Revised Kyoto Convention, and are complemented by ongoing work in areas such as IPR, explosives, Strategic Trade Control, Advance Passenger Information/Passenger Name Record (API/PNR), Advance Cargo Information, interconnectivity, Customs-Business partnership including Authorized Economic Operator Programmes, Coordinated Border Management and many more. The following discussions, including those during a panel composed of representatives from EU DG TAXUD and the private sector, picked up on several topics that have over time increased in significance. Those topics were found to contain both, facilitation and security-related aspects, and to deserve still more attention with a view to the future of Customs as well as private sector operations, and included Big data, harmonization of risk management approaches, e-commerce, 3D printing, regional integration including a growing number of Free Trade Agreements, cloud solutions in the area of interconnectivity, data quality, just to name some that are also on the agenda of several upcoming WCO meetings.