The South America, North America, Central America and the Caribbean Region enhances capacity on Digital Customs and E-Commerce

15 May 2018

The WCO with the support of Brazil Revenue Authority (Secretaria da Receita Federal do Brasil) and Korean Customs Cooperation Fund (CCF/Korea) conducted a Regional Workshop on Digital Customs and E-Commerce for the South America, North America, Central America and the Caribbean Region from 7 to 10 May 2018, in Brasilia, Brazil.

The Workshop benefitted 28 middle and senior management officials, involved with the policy-making and implementation of ICT and E-Commerce initiatives, from 22 Customs Administrations (Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Belize, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay, Costa Rica and Brazil).

In his inaugural remarks, Mr. Marcus Vinicius Vidal Pontes, Under Secretary Secretariat of Federal Revenue of Brazil, noted the importance of enhanced implementation of ICT and E-Commerce solutions in a coordinated manner in the region and thanked the WCO for supporting the region in this area.

The experts from the WCO, Brazil Customs and Korea Customs Service provided detailed information and explanations on international and regional developments in the area of Digital Customs and cross-border E-Commerce, and presented related WCO tools and instruments, country examples, case studies and the WCO’s ongoing and future envisaged work. Also, a representative from Mercado Libre, the biggest electronic platform of the region, presented its business process, as well as some of the challenges and barriers that inhibited their ability to perform cross-border E-Commerce.

In addition, the Workshop provided participants with an opportunity to build a network of contacts with other Customs administration through group exercises and interactive sessions, enhancing the understanding of issues of mutual interest.

Being the first of its kind in the region, the Workshop was very well received by participants and raised a lot of interest and robust discussions in terms of how to implement IT solutions and associated requirements for managing such projects in accordance with each administration’s priorities.

As regards to the growth of cross-border E-Commerce, participants examined the opportunities and challenges stemming from this form of trade and explored potential solutions in terms of facilitating legitimate shipments, whilst ensuring effective collection of legally due duties and taxes, supply chain security and protection of societies. The Participants also got an opportunity to examine and understand the recently developed draft Framework of Standards on Cross-border E-Commerce and the updated Immediate Release Guidelines that could serve as useful reference guidance when developing their respective national E-Commerce strategies. 

Furthermore, participants presented their national projects and initiatives related to ICT implementation and cross-border E-Commerce. Throughout these presentations, they were not only able to share their practices but also their critical thoughts and innovative ideas about the role of technology in their pursuit of Customs modernization.

Participants noted one of the biggest opportunities at the regional level was to implement the exchange of advance electronic information between national postal operators and Customs, moving away from manual processes, to better support growing E-Commerce parcels via posts. Acknowledging the huge growth potential for cross-border E-Commerce in the region, synergies between Digital Customs and E-Commerce were analyzed in detail.

This Workshop was the final leg of a series of workshops on Digital Customs and E-Commerce for each of the six WCO regions. 

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