Working Group on E-Commerce concludes its work with the finalization of a comprehensive E-Commerce Package

26 February 2019

The WCO Working Group on E-Commerce (WGEC) held its fifth and final Meeting from 18 to 22 February 2019 that brought together over 175 delegates from Customs administrations, other government agencies, the private sector, other international organizations, e-vendors/platforms/marketplaces, express carriers, postal operators, freight forwarders, Customs brokers and academia.

Building upon the Framework of Standards on Cross-Border E-Commerce1 that had been adopted by the WCO Council in June 2018, the WGEC examined the ongoing work and carried out further work on the identified items as per the WGEC’ Work Plan.

Through a robust and extensive review of various draft documents, the WGEC carried out further work and concluded all of the mandated work by finalizing and approving the following draft documents : Definitions of terms used in the Framework of Standards, Technical Specifications, Reference Data set for E-Commerce, model examples of E-Commerce Flow Charts and Return Flow Chart, Revenue Collection Approaches, E-Commerce Business Models, and E-Commerce Business Models : Roles and Responsibilities. All of these documents are aimed at further enriching the Framework of Standards and providing additional guidance for the implementation of the Framework in expeditious and harmonized manner.

In addition, the WGEC finalized and approved ‘Implementation Strategy, Action Plan and Capacity Building Mechanism’ for effective implementation of the Framework of Standards by Members, working in close cooperation with other relevant government agencies and stakeholders.

Furthermore, the WGEC developed two model templates for collecting Members’ case-studies on the revenue collection approaches and the implementation of the Framework of Standards.  Noting the case studies of Australia and Eurasian Economic Union, the WGEC requested Members and stakeholders to share their related working examples and initiatives/pilots.

Acknowledging the great deal of work done by the WGEC in short span of less than three years, Ms. Ana B. Hinojosa, WCO Director Compliance and Facilitation, the Customs-Chairperson Mr. Mike Leahy (Canada) and the private sector Chairperson Ms. Marianne Rowden (the Private Sector Consultative Group) thanked delegates for their commitment and arduous work that led to the development of a comprehensive E-Commerce Package, supplementing the already published Framework of Standards on Cross-Border E-Commerce.

Going forward, the documents finalized by the WGEC will be submitted to the Permanent Technical Committee (PTC) and the Enforcement Committee (EC) in March 2019, the Capacity Building Committee (CBC) in April 2019, and finally the Policy Commission and Council in June 2019, for their respective consideration and potential adoption.