WCO expertise and contribution explained to the G20 Anti-Corruption Working Group

13 June 2016

At the invitation of the G20 Anti-Corruption Working Group (ACWG), WCO Secretary General Kunio Mikuriya spoke at the ACWG meeting held on 10 June 2016 at Lancaster House in London, United Kingdom.  The ACWG is developing a G20 Anti-Corruption Action Plan 2017-2018 to be presented to the G20 Summit later this year.  As such, it was interested in the work being done by the WCO in the area of Customs as this was identified as a high-risk area.

Secretary General Mikuriya spoke about WCO efforts in helping Members to identify risk areas for corruption and measures to improve integrity, in line with the revised Arusha Declaration.  His explanation encompassed the need for a policy framework for trade liberalization, such as avoiding high tariff levels and widespread exemptions, streamlined procedures for trade facilitation supported by the use of technology, and investment in human resource management by providing a professional career path backed by acceptable working conditions.  He called for G20 political support for Customs reform, so as to make Customs a positive reference for anti-corruption efforts for both the private and public sectors.

The Government of Mexico has been keen to develop links between the WCO and the ACWG.  Accordingly, Mr. Carlos Gabriel Enriquez Montes, Permanent Representative of Mexico’s Tax Administration Service (SAT) in Brussels, presented the Strategic Document on Customs Integrity, prepared by the WCO and incorporating comments by G20 representatives, as well as a proposal for future actions taking into account the key factors of the revised Arusha Declaration.  The OECD representative presented to G20 Members the outcomes of a survey conducted, based on the WCO’s revised Integrity Guide.

G20 Members welcomed the Strategic Document on Customs Integrity and appreciated the WCO's leadership and contribution in the area of anti-corruption.  They further agreed on the need to strengthen their cooperation with the WCO for their future work.