Customs issues addressed by APEC Leaders

14 November 2011

Customs issues addressed by APEC Leaders

Brussels, 14 November 2011

Press Release

The World Customs Organization (WCO) welcomes the outcomes of the 2011 APEC Leaders’ Meeting and Ministerial Meeting that took place last week in Honolulu, United States.

The Statement “The Honolulu Declaration - Toward a Seamless Regional Economy” released by APEC Leaders on 13 November builds on the 2010 Yokohama Vision and reaffirms their support to further open markets and facilitate trade, so as to strengthen regional economic integration and expanding trade, supported by the 11 November Statement of the 2011 APEC Ministers’ Meeting. Both Statements highlight the importance of various Customs-related issues in reducing the time, cost and uncertainly of moving goods in the Asia/Pacific region.

The WCO is pleased that the Ministers’ Statement recognizes the WCO as a cooperative partner to help APEC Economies in developing and implementing Authorized Economic Operator (AEO) programmes and furthermore, mutual recognition arrangements for programmes in the region. In order to support the Customs authorities throughout in the region when identifying effective practices for intellectual property enforcement at the border, the Ministers also endorsed the APEC Guidelines for Customs Border Enforcement of Counterfeiting and Piracy.

The Leaders’ Statement encourages the establishment of a minimis value that will exempt low-value shipments from Customs duties and streamline entry documentation requirements. In addition, it supports initiatives to ensure trade recovery, to facilitate trade in remanufactured goods and in products derived from innovative agricultural technologies, and to facilitate regional travel among others.

“I am pleased that APEC Leaders and Ministers support the activities of the WCO and value its contribution to world trade,” said WCO Secretary General, Kunio Mikuriya. “Indeed, the outcomes of APEC 2011 are a good example of how regional and global bodies can cooperate in coordinated and collaborative ways to secure and facilitate trade,” added Mikuriya.

The WCO maintains a close relationship with APEC by actively participating in APEC meetings, including the Committee on Trade and Investment (CTI) and the Sub-Committee on Customs Procedures (SCCP). The Organization remains committed to supporting APEC initiatives that are in line with the WCO Revised Kyoto Convention on the simplification and harmonization of Customs procedures and other WCO tools and instruments.

Recognizing the importance of capacity building activities to achieve the goals outlined by APEC, the WCO will endeavour to realize as much synergy as possible between the two organizations in the capacity building field.

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