Permanent Technical Committee endorses the WCO Guidelines on Disaster Management and Supply Chain Continuity during its recent Sessions

11 May 2021

The 231st/232nd Sessions of the Permanent Technical Committee (PTC) were held from 19 April to 6 May 2021 with almost 300 delegates taking part. The meeting was launched with a week-long document-based phase held through the WCO CLiKC! platform and finalized with a three-day online session.

In his opening remarks, the WCO Secretary General Dr. Kunio Mikuriya emphasized the important work of this Committee in prioritizing the WCO’s key facilitation activities not only to support  Members in addressing the COVID-19 pandemic, but also in terms of moving the current trade facilitation agenda forward to the greatest possible extent.

The PTC provided valuable contributions and enriched a series of tools that will be submitted to the Policy Commission and Council for final approval in June 2021.

The Committee endorsed the Guidance on Disaster Management and Supply Chain continuity and discussed implementation of the Council Resolution on the Role of Customs in Facilitation the Cross-Border Movement of Situationally Critical Medicines and Vaccines and the associated COVID-19 Action Plan, which are now on top of the list of WCO priorities.

The passenger facilitation agenda was tackled through discussions on the outcomes of the 1st Meeting of the Passenger Facilitation and Control Working Group (PFCWG) and the preliminary results of the Survey on Customs procedures on Maritime Passenger Data. The PTC discussed the E-Commerce Package review process, endorsed the 2nd edition of the E-Commerce Compendium and took note of the Secretariat Notes on effective and efficient revenue collection in cross-border e-commerce, and on expanding the concept of Authorized Economic Operators (AEO) to cross-border e-commerce.

Progress was achieved on the revision of the PTC Rules of Procedure to ensure its functioning under extraordinary circumstances such as the pandemic. The PTC further identified a preliminary way forward for the update of the software for the Time Release Study and carried out the prioritization of facilitation activities through the revision of the Action Plan on the Economic Competitiveness Package and the PTC Work Programme. Delegates took note of the SAFE 2021 revisions and with endorsement by the Policy Commission and Council in June 2021, the latest review-cycle will be completed. The PTC also discussed the Future of Customs, the WCO Environmental Scan 2021-2024 and endorsed the Communication Handbook. The Committee also discussed a proposal on Tax/Duty Collection on Imported Low Value Shipments submitted by the Global Express Association (GEA), the SMART Customs Initiative 2020 presented by Japan and railway cooperation.

Lastly, the PTC re-elected Mr. Matthew Duckworth (Australia) as the Chairperson of the PTC and Mrs. Ronke Olubiyi (Nigeria) as the Vice-Chairperson of the PTC for Financial Year 2021-2022.