National Workshop on the Revised Kyoto Convention in Tonga (Nuku’alofa, 9 – 13 March 2015)

24 March 2015

The World Customs Organization (WCO) organized a Regional Workshop on the International Convention on the Simplification and Harmonization of Customs Procedures (Revised Kyoto Convention - RKC), held from 9 to 13 March 2015 in Nuku’alofa, Tonga. The National Workshop brought together nearly fifteen managers and executives from the Tonga Customs Administration, and was assisted by two experts from the WCO Secretariat.

Responding the needs expressed by the Ministry of Revenue & Customs of Tonga, this workshop focused on a comparative analysis on the gaps between the provisions of the General Annex and Specific Annexes of the RKC and national legislation. Additionally, this workshop served to raise awareness of the importance and advantages of the RKC, to give participants a sound grasp of this instrument in order to expedite the country’s accession process, and to effectively prepare for implementation of this Convention as soon as possible.

In the course of their presentations, the experts also stressed the prominent role played by the WCO in the preparations for implementation of the World Trade Organization (WTO) Agreement on Trade Facilitation (TFA) concluded in Bali, Indonesia. In particular, the MERCATOR Programme, devoted to support Members in this area, was presented to the participants. Upon request, the WCO experts also briefed participants on Coordinated Border Management (CBM), the WCO theme for 2015, and the benefits of incorporating a Single Window in the ongoing Customs reform and modernization processes.

This Workshop has enabled Tonga Customs to gain a clear understanding of the RKC, particularly with regard to its benefits and the accession process. Following the gap analysis and strategic planning activity, they now have a clear roadmap for acceding to the RKC in the near future.

The Deputy CEO and Head of Tonga Customs expressed their sincere gratitude to the WCO for all its technical assistance and capacity building support. The WCO Secretariat will continue to help Tonga Customs with their modernization efforts, and especially with the implementation of the RKC.