Interactive dialogue between the WCO and the International Chamber of Commerce

14 November 2022

On 10 November 2022, the Secretary General of the World Customs Organization (WCO), Dr. Kunio Mikuriya, spoke and interacted with participants during the online meeting of the Global Customs and Trade Facilitation Commission of International Chamber of Commerce (ICC).

Dr. Mikuriya elaborated on some of the main topics on which the WCO is presently working on. He explained the ongoing efforts towards the digitalization of Customs and Trade procedures, and the need for data standardization in line with the WCO standards and with enhanced cooperation with the private sector. These collaborative actions would ensure interoperability and enhanced trade facilitation, supported by better risk management.

Secretary General Mikuriya stressed the importance of associating with business in exploring the use of advanced technology, as evidenced with the success of the WCO Technology Conference and Exhibition held in October, in Maastricht, the Netherlands, and attended by many ICC members. With regard to the WCO Data Strategy, Dr. Mikuriya explained that the first WCO Data and Statistics Working Group held in the same week, would provide an excellent opportunity for public-private partnership through the Data Innovation Hub, and invited the ICC members to participate in this initiative.

The Secretary General also detailed the strategy of the WCO regarding environmental issues, including the discussions around circular economy and greening of the Harmonized System.

Dr. Mikuriya further engaged with the ICC Members during the question and answers session. He provided insights on the preparedness of Customs for changing processes to meet the challenges of digitalization and data governance. He also expounded on the capacity of the current version of the HS Nomenclature to address the growing number of chemical products that would impact the visualization of a greener Customs.

The Chair of the ICC Global Customs and Trade Facilitation Commission, Mr. John Bescec, concluded that he valued the cooperative approach of the WCO and reiterated ICC’s readiness and willingness to further participate and contribute to the WCO meetings. Dr. Mikuriya invited the ICC and business for greater collaboration with the WCO and Customs towards achieving common goals.