Briefing by WCO Secretary General for Brussels-based Customs Attachés

08 November 2013

The WCO Secretary General, Kunio Mikuriya, welcomed Brussels-based Customs Attachés to WCO HQ for a briefing on vital WCO and international Customs topics.  In particular, the Secretary General discussed the upcoming Policy Commission, the WTO Bali Ministerial Conference, and announced the theme for the 2014 International Customs Day.

The Secretary General responded to a number of questions by the Customs Attachés and expressed his appreciation for the vital role they play in communication, sharing information and cooperation.

The Secretary General shared detailed information regarding the topics that will be covered at the upcoming 70th Session of the Policy Commission that will be held in Dublin, Ireland on 9-11 December 2013.

He noted that under Policy Commission “A” items (issues for information, progress reports for noting or issues unanimously agreed by Working Groups and Committees for endorsement), the SAFE Framework and air cargo security, the capacity building progress report, Permanent Technical Committee (PTC) outcomes, the Economic Competitiveness Package (ECP) progress report, and the Revenue Package progress report will be discussed.

Discussions under Policy Commission “B” items (issues requiring discussion, orientation, or guidance) will cover, in particular, the role of Customs in regional economic integration, Customs-private sector engagement, the outcomes of the WTO Bali Ministerial Conference, the role of Customs in combating cross-border tax evasion, the use of commodity coding systems other than the Harmonized System to support Customs work, the WCO Strategic Plan and the Programme Budget for financial year 2014/2015.

With respect to the WTO Bali Ministerial Conference, which will take place on 3-6 December 2013, the Secretary General said that regardless of the outcome, the WCO has and will continue to support WCO Members with trade facilitation modernization at both the political and technical levels.

The Secretary General also announced that International Customs Day (ICD) on 26 January 2014 will be devoted to the theme “Communication” with the slogan “Communication: sharing information for better cooperation.”