WCO contributes to trade facilitation and security for Asia-Pacific Region

01 September 2016

Peru hosted the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Third Senior Officials´ Meeting (SOM 3) and Related Meetings from 15 to 28 August in Lima. The World Customs Organization (WCO) contributed to several key meetings such as the Sub-Committee on Customs Procedures (SCCP) and the Counter-Terrorism Working Group (CTWG).

The APEC promoted various trade facilitation measures such as the implementation of the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA), Single Window, Customs Transit, cross border e-commerce, interoperability between Customs administrations. The APEC Joint Ministerial Statement issued by Ministers Responsible for Trade in May mentions that APEC economies would continue to promote effective, secure trade and facilitation in the region, based on the international standards developed by the WCO.

The WCO shared with APEC Member economies updated information on the above trade facilitation measures such as newly developed WCO tools and instruments. During the APEC meetings in August, the WCO explained the benefits of AEO Programme at the ACBD (APEC Customs Business Dialogue) and the APEC STAR (Secure Trade in the APEC Region) Conference. In addition, recent WCO initiatives on e-commerce and progress of the WCO Mercator Programme were presented at the SCCP and CTI Workshop on Trade Facilitation.

The WCO Security initiatives, especially the development of new Guidance on Passenger Name Record (PNR) and Advanced Passenger Information (API), were welcomed at the CTWG Workshop on countering foreign terrorist fighter travel and other relevant meetings. The APEC Leaders Declaration in 2015 highlighted the importance of advance passenger risk analysis to prevent foreign terrorist fighter travel.

WCO Secretary General Kunio Mikuriya welcomed the progress of APEC initiatives on trade facilitation and security. He reaffirmed that the WCO would continuously support and provide Customs expertise to APEC projects on trade facilitation and counter-terrorism.

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