Enhancing ASEAN-WCO Cooperation

07 June 2013

At the invitation of Director General Fong Yong Kian of Singapore Customs, WCO Secretary General Kunio Mikuriya participated in the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) - WCO consultation session, conducted within the framework of the ASEAN Customs Directors-General Meeting, held in Singapore on 6 June 2013. The goal of the consultation session was to deepen cooperation between ten ASEAN countries and the WCO.

ASEAN Deputy Secretary General Lim Hong Hin gave an overview of ASEAN Customs integration, including legal and technical aspects of the development of the ASEAN Customs Transit System. He also reported on progress with the ASEAN Single Window (ASW), a key component of the ASEAN Economic Community scheduled to be completed by 2015. In this connection, the ASW Portal was launched on 8 May 2013 to raise awareness of this tool. He also gave account of the progress as regards National Single Windows (NSWs) in ten ASEAN countries.

Secretary General Mikuriya welcomed the progress with ASW and NSWs, which could provide a basis for sharing experience with other WCO Members. He described developments with respect to the Economic Competitiveness Package (ECP), including the regional workshop on the ECP held earlier in the week in Hong Kong, China to assist with regional economic integration. The Directors-General supported the new WCO Strategic Plan, which Secretary General Mikuriya explained in detail. They expressed their interest in certain areas of the Strategic Plan, including the potential linkage between export and import data, expansion of the Revenue Package to include the issue of excise duties, and tackling trade-related money laundering. Some of these questions are already covered by the two Packages.

The participants expressed their satisfaction with and appreciation for the capacity building support provided by the Regional Office for Capacity Building (ROCB) in Bangkok, which is currently focusing on three areas in response to the needs expressed by the region: Revised Kyoto Convention, risk assessment, and valuation and post-clearance audit.