WCO Secretary General addresses eCommerce Week

28 April 2022

On 26 April 2022, the Secretary General of the World Customs Organization (WCO), Dr. Kunio Mikuriya, addressed participants at the 2022 edition of eCommerce Week organized by UNCTAD (United Nations Conference on Trade and Development) and taking place from 25 to 29 April 2022 in Geneva, Switzerland under the theme “Data and Digitalization for Development”. Dr. Mikuriya’s speech was part of the “eTrade for all leadership dialogue: Connecting the dots for more inclusive development”.

“In response to the COVID-19 pandemic we have promoted digitalization of border procedures towards paperless trade, underlining the importance of utilizing the massive amount of data that digitalization produces”, stressed Dr. Mikuriya. He went on to highlight the importance of access to reliable data on small and low-value shipments crossing the borders of both developed and developing countries and explained that the WCO had developed the Framework of Standards on Cross-Border E-Commerce which recommends that Member Customs administrations enhance their partnerships with e-commerce stakeholders, including e-commerce platforms, in order to obtain advance electronic data while complying with data protection provisions.

Secretary General Mikuriya also drew attention to the WCO’s work in the area of disruptive technologies, pointing out that blockchain, the Internet of Things, data analytics and artificial intelligence (AI) may be mobilized to facilitate trade and enhance safety, security and fair revenue collection. Dr. Mikuriya concluded his speech by drawing a parallel between the WCO’s theme for 2022, “Scaling up Customs Digital Transformation by Embracing a Data Culture and Building a Data Ecosystem”, and the theme of this year’s eCommerce Week.

The address of the WCO Secretary General is available to the eCommerce Week participants on the event-website.