Insights from the Dialogue between the WCO Policy Commission and the Private Sector Consultative Group

28 June 2024

On 26 June 2024, the WCO Policy Commission (PC) and Private Sector Consultative Group (PSCG) annual dialogue took place at WCO Headquarters. This event followed a separate PSCG meeting held on 24 and 25 June. The primary aim of the Dialogue was to foster collaboration and discuss critical issues related to trade facilitation, sustainability, and business continuity across borders.

WCO Council Chairperson, Edward Kieswetter, warmly welcomed all PC and PSCG members, underscoring the importance of their collective efforts in shaping global trade policies.

During the session, the PSCG presented two key papers on SME participation in international trade and the Green Customs initiative aimed at reducing environmental impacts through digitalization and streamlined processes.

Discussions then shifted to strengthening Customs-Industry resilience. Participants emphasized the importance of simplifying established mechanisms and maintaining transparent communication. Sharing experiences on responding to disasters and crises highlighted the necessity for flexible and efficient response systems in Customs operations.

Addressing corruption in Customs operations was another crucial agenda item. The effective application of existing WCO tools and instruments, along with the need to foster trust and transparency, was identified as essential in tackling corruption-related challenges.

The Dialogue also explored balancing traditional and emerging Customs mandates. Discussions focused on managing expanding responsibilities, such as ethical trade, environmental sustainability, labour standards, and public health, while maintaining traditional roles.

The PSCG’s role within the WCO was thoroughly examined, with discussions on its vision, strategies to enhance its impact, and expectations from the WCO. Regular meetings and updates were suggested to facilitate more active participation and measure the PSCG’s effectiveness.

Additionally, participants were informed about the composition of the PSCG for the upcoming year (2024/2025), designed to ensure balanced representation from diverse sectors and regions.

The session concluded with closing remarks from WCO Secretary General Ian Saunders, who appreciated the active participation and contributions from attendees.

This Dialogue session proved to be a valuable platform for addressing critical trade-related issues, fostering public-private collaboration to enhance trade facilitation, promote sustainable practices, and ensure business continuity in a dynamic global landscape.