WCO-UPU Contact Committee endorsed the revision of the WCO-UPU Joint Message Standards

11 November 2021

The 41st Meeting of the WCO-UPU Contact Committee was held jointly by the World Customs Organization (WCO) and the Universal Postal Union (UPU) on 9 and 10 November 2021. This year, the meeting was attended by some 60 experts from Customs administrations and designated postal operators and was hosted by the UPU in a hybrid mode allowing for remote and on-site participation at the UPU building in Bern.

In their opening remarks, Mr. Pranab Kumar Das, the WCO Director of Compliance and Facilitation, and Mr. Abdel Ilah Bousseta, the UPU’s Director of Postal Operations, welcomed Members and Observers to the Meeting of the WCO-UPU Contact Committee. They stressed the importance of cooperation between the WCO and the UPU, and at national levels as well, in exploring possible measures so that together we might overcome the challenges that lie ahead. The directors praised the Contact Committee for its dedicated work over the past five years in agreeing on priorities, addressing common challenges and identifying potential solutions to improve Customs-Post collaboration. In particular, this involved the organization of capacity-building workshops, the implementation of electronic advance data (EAD) exchanges, the strengthening of security and safety measures, the handling of E-Commerce and trade facilitation, and the processing of regulatory matters as well.

The Contact Committee was informed of the envisaged signing of the new Memorandum of Understanding between the WCO and the UPU, which is currently being finalized. When the new MOU is signed by both parties, it will serve as an important basis for closer cooperation between the two organizations in pursuing common goals to ensure and facilitate the free and secure movement of international postal items and to address challenges during transit and Customs clearance procedures.

The Committee took note of the joint WCO-UPU workshop, the results of the 2021 Work Plan, the Work Plan for 2022, the status of the Electronic Advance Data (EAD) capture, transmission and compliance project, and an update on capacity building activities. For matters relating to EAD requirements, the Committee discussed the analysis on EAD exchanges and readiness, EAD requirements for transit, the joint expert team’s works on data flows 3 and 4 of the UPU Global Postal Model, and the UPU EAD roadmap update. The Committee also examined and endorsed the revision of the WCO-UPU Joint Message Standards (CUSITM and CUSRSP version 2) with a view to meeting requirements stemming from the Pre-Loading Advance Cargo Information (PLACI) risk analysis process, which will be submitted to the next PTC for endorsement.

Regarding security and safety matters, the Committee took note of and provided fruitful feedback on the update on AEO and UPU security standards (S58 and S59), asynchronous training in illicit goods for post and Customs from INTERPOL, and the opioid strategy and toolkit from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). E-Commerce and trade facilitation matters were also discussed in the meeting, including the results from the WCO’s Second Global Conference on Cross Border E-Commerce, experience sharing regarding the E-Commerce data pilot being conducted by a Customs member, and the progress on the Rail-UPU Contact Committee. The Committee also received an update on the report from the joint expert team on the potential integration of CN 22 and CN 23 forms and the harmonization of data, and an update on the progress of the comprehensive review of the Revised Kyoto Convention.

Finally, the Committee reviewed the draft Work Plan for 2022-2025. The 42nd meeting of the Contact Committee will take place in the Fall of 2022.