Uzbekistan accedes to the Revised Kyoto Convention (RKC), becoming the 127th Contracting Party

18 February 2021

On 16 February 2021, WCO Secretary General Dr. Kunio Mikuriya, in his capacity as the depositary of the International Convention on the Simplification and Harmonization of Customs Procedures (Revised Kyoto Convention - RKC), received the original of Uzbekistan’s Instrument of Accession to the RKC from His Excellency Mr. Dilyor Khakimov, Ambassador of the Republic of Uzbekistan to the Kingdom of Belgium. Uzbekistan now becomes the 127th Contracting Party to this Convention, which will enter into force for Uzbekistan on 16 May 2021.

During his meeting with Ambassador Khakimov, Secretary General Mikuriya noted that this accession to the RKC adds to the significant steps taken by Uzbekistan to transform and modernize its trade infrastructure, and said that the WCO will continue to support Uzbekistan in its efforts to simplify Customs procedures and facilitate trade.

The WCO Secretariat has strongly supported Uzbekistan in its process of accession to the RKC, in particular by delivering a high-level Workshop for the Uzbekistan Customs Administration and all relevant ministries and agencies, on the process and benefits of accession to this important Convention. The Workshop, delivered online on 25 and 26 November 2020, was attended by more than 30 high-level ranking officials from the Customs Administration and representatives of other relevant stakeholders.

The RKC, which entered into force on 3 February 2006, is a WCO legal instrument regarded by the entire international Customs community as a blueprint for modern Customs procedures in the 21st Century. The RKC’s key elements include the application of simplified and harmonized Customs procedures in a predictable and transparent environment, the optimal use of information technology, the utilization of risk management for efficient Customs control, a strong partnership with trade and other stakeholders, and a readily accessible system of appeals.

With its technical provisions, which are set out in the General Annex and the Specific Annexes, the RKC supports countries’ efforts towards the efficient and harmonious implementation of the World Trade Organization’s Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) that entered into force on 22 February 2017.

In an international environment characterized by the efforts of Customs administrations to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic world-wide and support the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, the WCO welcomes the fact that the number of Contracting Parties to the RKC continues to grow, especially as this important instrument includes a dedicated Specific Annex (Annex J5) dealing with the role of Customs in emergency situations and natural disaster relief. It is worth mentioning that the Republic of Uzbekistan has accepted almost all of the Specific Annexes, with the exception of Chapter 3 of Specific Annex E concerning the carriage of goods coastwise.

Secretary General Mikuriya, who welcomed this accession following the recent accessions of Liberia and Turkmenistan, said that it demonstrates Uzbekistan’s commitment to implementing Customs procedures which are adapted to the international trade environment. Other WCO Members and non-Members are encouraged to accede to the RKC as soon as possible, and RKC Contracting Parties are invited to implement the relevant provisions of the Convention, which is at the core of the WCO’s Economic Competitiveness Package (ECP).