15th Revised Kyoto Convention Management Committee Meeting concluded with a renewed focus on the accession and implementation

25 November 2016

The Revised Kyoto Convention Management Committee (RKC/MC) at its 15th Meeting held from 16 to 17 November 2016 discussed many topical themes of relevance for the management of the Convention, in particular it wider accession and effective implementation. The RKC/MC comprises of all Contracting Parties to the Convention along with observers and was established to consider the implementation of the Convention, any measures to secure the uniformity in the interpretation and application thereof as well as any amendments proposed.

The Revised Kyoto Convention (RKC) is the International convention on the simplification and harmonization of the Customs procedures as amended in 1999. This Convention is known as the blueprint for modern and efficient Customs procedures in the 21st century. The RKC entered into force on February 3, 2006 and has already 105 Contracting Parties. Its increasing implementation is providing international commerce with the predictability and efficiency that modern trade requires.

The RKC elaborates several key governing principles, among these are the principles of transparency and predictability of Customs actions; standardization and simplification of the goods declaration and supporting documents; simplified procedures for authorized persons; maximum use of information technology; minimum necessary Customs control to ensure compliance with regulations; use of risk management and audit-based controls; coordinated interventions with other border agencies; partnership with the trade.

In his opening remarks, Mr. Luc De Blieck, Deputy Director, WCO Procedures and Facilitation Sub-Directorate appreciated the increase in the number of Contracting Parties and underlined, among others, the importance of the RKC as an important instrument to support the implementation of the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA).

At this Meeting, the RKC/MC held a panel discussion on the accession to the Convention and associated challenges as well as potential solutions, approved updates of Guidelines to the "de minimis" regime and the Specific Annex J.2 dealing with postal traffic.

The RKC/MC also examined of the report of the Virtual Working Group established during the 14th Meeting with the mandate to explore in depth some proposals concerning the needs to review/update the Convention. It had robust discussions on the way forward. There was a general view amongst delegates that the RKC should be reviewed and updated to ensure that it remains relevant and continues to meet the needs of modern Customs administrations. To this end, the Committee decided to establish a new Virtual Working Group of interested Members with a mandate to map out the process and develop a plan including key objectives, broad approach, tasks, and roadmap. The process will include a detailed impact analysis of conducting a review including associated benefits, challenges, and potential solutions. The Virtual Working Group will also examine how other international organizations update their respective conventions.

The report of the Virtual Working Group is expected to be submitted to the next RKC/MC meeting for its consideration and endorsement.

Overall, the RKC/MC Meeting generated animated discussion, active engagement and high level of commitment from the participants. The Secretariat would like to thank the many presenters who shared their experiences and lessons learnt: Cameroon, Iceland, Madagascar, Malaysia, the Netherlands, Tunisia and the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Aid (UN-OCHA).