Following Jamaica’s accession, the Revised Kyoto Convention now has 128 Contracting Parties

12 May 2021

On 7 May 2021, the Embassy of Jamaica in Brussels and Mission to the European Union deposited with the World Customs Organization (WCO) the country’s Instrument of Accession to the International Convention on the Simplification and Harmonization of Customs Procedures (Revised Kyoto Convention - RKC), making Jamaica the 128th Contracting Party to this Convention.

The RKC, which entered into force on 3 February 2006, is regarded as the blueprint for effective and modern Customs procedures. It is the international standard for making Customs regulatory procedures as efficient and effective as possible. The Convention contains several important principles, including transparency and predictability of Customs actions; standardization and simplification of the goods declaration and supporting documents; simplified procedures for authorized persons; maximum use of information technology; appropriate Customs control to ensure compliance with regulations; use of risk management and audit-based controls; coordinated interventions with other border agencies; and partnership with trade.

The RKC is instrumental for global trade facilitation efforts, especially in terms of implementing the World Trade Organization Trade Facilitation Agreement (WTO TFA) and meeting the challenges faced by Customs in the 21st Century. Against the current backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is worth pointing out that the RKC contains, in its Specific Annex J5, relevant standards and recommended practices aimed at facilitating the movement of relief consignments and equipment imported for humanitarian purposes.

It is important to highlight that the WCO Secretariat supported the Jamaica Customs Agency in its process of acceding to the RKC. This support included an in-depth review, in 2019, of Jamaica’s then draft Customs Act which was compared with the RKC and the WTO TFA. It appears that the philosophy and principles of the RKC and the WTO TFA have been broadly taken on board by Jamaica.

The WCO Secretary General, Dr. Kunio Mikuriya, welcomes Jamaica’s accession to the RKC and strongly encourages other WCO Members that have not yet done so to accede to and implement this important Convention as soon as possible.

The RKC will enter into force for Jamaica on 7 August 2021.