Institute of International and European Affairs

04 March 2010

Institute of International and European Affairs

Dublin (Ireland), 2 March 2010


At the invitation of the Institute of International and European Affairs (IIEA), the Secretary General of the WCO, Kunio Mikuriya, was invited to address the Institute’s Justice Group as part of their ongoing research programme into justice and home affairs policy.

After providing a brief introduction to the WCO, in his speech entitled “A global network at borders: borders divide, Customs connects” Mr. Mikuriya spoke about the importance of trade facilitation, explained the instruments of the WCO aimed at promoting facilitation and provided an update on the current status of the WTO’s trade facilitation negotiations.

He also spoke about the impact of the financial crisis on issues such as protectionism and the movement of goods, and on trade security, particularly the WCO SAFE Framework of Standards and questions surrounding the US 100% scanning legislation due to be implemented in 2012. In addition, the Secretary General addressed matters relating to intellectual property rights, including the WCO’s efforts to fight against infringements and promote respect for innovation.

The IIEA is Ireland’s leading European and international affairs policy analysis think tank. Its extensive research programme aims to provide high-level analysis and forecasts on the challenges of the global and EU policy agendas. It acts as a catalyst for new thinking, new solutions and policy options, and provides its members from the private and public sector with a unique forum for corporate networking.

During his visit to Ireland, Mr. Mikuriya also visited three business associations: the International Trade Services at Chambers Ireland; the Irish Business and Employers Conference; and the Irish Exporters Association. These visits were undertaken to strengthen dialogue and understanding between the WCO and the private sector to give concrete effect to the WCO’s decision to dedicate 2010 to highlighting the importance of the Customs-Business Partnership as a means to improve performance.

The Secretary General ended his visit to Ireland with a meeting with Josephine Feehily, the Chairman of the Office of the Revenue Commissioners (the Irish Customs and Tax administration).
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