Amendment to UPU Convention boosts global aviation security and Customs' fight against illicit trade

12 November 2012

Brussels, 12 November 2012 

Press Release 

The World Customs Organization (WCO) welcomes the decision of the Universal Postal Union (UPU) to make its security standards mandatory for its 192 member countries, thereby establishing a legal basis for the provision of advance electronic data on postal items to Customs and aviation security authorities.

Outcomes of the UPU's 25th Congress, which took place in Qatar from 7-11 November 2012, were presented by a representative of the UPU's International Bureau in Bern, Switzerland to delegates attending the 197th/198th Sessions of the WCO's Permanent Technical Committee, responsible for trade facilitation and security procedures.

The UPU's decision will greatly facilitate ongoing efforts by the WCO, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and the UPU to bolster the international supply chain by securing the air cargo sector, following attempts by terrorists in Yemen to comprise aviation security in 2010.

"This forward-thinking decision by the UPU will significantly contribute to global aviation security," said WCO Secretary General, Kunio Mikuriya. "It is a clear demonstration of the UPU's commitment to enhance trade security using a risk management approach, as embodied in the WCO Framework of Standards to Secure and Facilitate Global trade," he added.

Continuing, Secretary General Mikuriya said, "The lack of quality information for Customs risk purposes has been a matter of concern to the WCO and its 179 Members for a long time, however now that the Post will provide advance electronic data to Customs, targeting efforts by Customs to ensure the security of trade and root out illicit trade have been vastly improved."

To facilitate implementation of the decision, the UPU is developing a global model to send advance data to Customs, other border regulatory agencies and airlines, in a manner and according to a timetable relevant to security needs, thereby enabling the prior examination of a consignment’s security status by concerned authorities and the airline industry.

The Secretary General strongly urged Customs administrations and postal services to cooperate at the national level in order to ensure the integrity and security of post, which will help to eliminate the possibilities of "criminal entrepreneurs" and others from using the postal network to send illicit goods, including dangerous and prohibited goods, around the world.

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