Meeting of the Customs Union Group of the Council of the European Union

08 January 2010

Meeting of the Customs Union Group of the Council of the European Union

Brussels, 7 January 2010


At the invitation of the Spanish Presidency of the European Union, the Secretary General of WCO, Kunio Mikuriya, attended the meeting of the Customs Union Group of the EU Council on 7 January 2010 to present the main priorities and activities of the WCO for 2010.

During his speech, the Secretary General first highlighted the particularly close and constructive relations that the EU and its Member States maintained with the WCO and stressed the many mutual benefits resulting from this cooperation. He also underlined the similarities present in the strategies of both organizations particularly in areas such as the facilitation of legitimate trade, the security of the supply chain, the protection of society and Customs cooperation. In addition, he stressed that the WCO could not be successful without the effective participation of its Members and as such, he was counting on the active engagement of the EU, through the European Commission and the Customs administrations of its Member States, as key players in the international trading system.

Concerning Customs in the 21st Century, various themes relating to the effective implementation of risk management techniques, the establishment of a strong Customs-business partnership, support for the "Globally Networked Customs" initiative, the strengthening of border management and the implementation of a Single Window system (by adopting, among other things, the WCO Data Model) were discussed to illustrate the main activities that would be pursued by the WCO over the course of the coming months; reflecting the synergies between the strategies of the WCO and the EU. With respect to capacity building and the increased need for experts, Mr. Mikuriya reiterated his call to be assisted by EU Customs authorities in this regard.

The European Commission welcomed the intervention of the Secretary General and the actions taken by the WCO to modernize Customs operations and to strengthen Customs cooperation at the international level and expressed, in concert with other delegations, support for the activities of the WCO.