WCO and WTO agree to further enhance collaboration at the 7th Global Review of Aid for Trade

05 July 2019

In the margins of the 7th Global Review of Aid for Trade, an initiative led by the World Trade Organization (WTO), WCO Secretary General Kunio Mikuriya met with WTO Director-General Roberto Azevêdo to discuss issues related to e-commerce and implementation of the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA).

Dr. Mikuriya congratulated Mr. Azevêdo for the WTO’s participation in the G20 Osaka Summit held last week in Japan, which had given fresh impetus to international rule-making on trade-related aspects of e-commerce at the WTO.  He informed Mr. Azevêdo that the Directors General of WCO Member Customs administrations had adopted an E-Commerce Package just a few days earlier.  The Package brings together standards and guidance material to assist WCO Members in developing strategic and operational e-commerce frameworks to facilitate cross-border movements of goods resulting from online transactions, while addressing the security, revenue fraud and illicit trade risks that such transactions potentially pose.  Secretary General Mikuriya suggested that the technical work undertaken at the WCO could prove useful in implementing any future WTO rules on e-commerce that might potentially cover a wide range of areas such as online payments, consumer protection and data flows. 

Director-General Azevêdo welcomed the WCO offer to provide technical expertise and underlined that the WTO should take account of work done by other institutions.  As the WTO’s work on e-commerce might have an impact on implementation of the TFA, he said that the time was ripe to boost dialogue on the work done within their respective Organizations and on the possible way forward.

Dr. Mikuriya referred to the progress made by the WCO on performance measurement, including the collaborative work carried out with the World Bank and other international organizations on the Time Release Study, which contributed directly to implementation of the TFA. 

He also highlighted the fact that the Revised Kyoto Convention (RKC) was currently under review, an initiative aimed at providing further technical support to TFA implementation and at ensuring consistency between the two instruments.  The review would specifically address technical areas such as rules of origin certification and Free Zones. 

Mr. Azevêdo stressed that the WTO remained supportive of the work being pursued at the WCO and that the rules set at the WTO would not make much sense unless they were digested and processed by the WCO’s technical working bodies and made implementable. 

The heads of the two Organizations concluded by agreeing that collaboration should be further enhanced in many areas.


  • WTO Director-General Roberto Azevêdo and WCO Secretary General Dr. Kunio Mikuriya met in the margins of the 7th Global Review of Aid for Trade

    WTO Director-General Roberto Azevêdo and WCO Secretary General Dr. Kunio Mikuriya met in the margins of the 7th Global Review of Aid for Trade

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