Conventions and Programmes Concerning Export controls

The increasing threat of international terrorism and organised cross-border crime requires the enhancement of existing border and frontier controls and effective international co-operation to prevent terrorist attacks and other unlawful acts against Members.

Over the years a number of international agreements have been concluded to establish appropriate export control standards on specific categories of goods to ensure security and safety for our societies, economies, environment, and wild life.

The recent international events focusing on the need for security have highlighted the importance of enhancing existing procedures including the adoption of export controls for effective risk management. One of the immediate consequences has been the implementation of the Container Security Initiative. This initiative relies on information being supplied before export in order that containers are screened at the point of export to determine any possible risk. This initiative places a high reliance on the accuracy and timely provision of export information in order to effectively process goods at import. It should be noted that the Container Security Initiative is likely to have an impact on all Members and the international business community. It will significantly enhance Customs controls on containers and offers a great potential increasing the levels of compliance with Customs Laws and Regulations. This initiative represents a significant opportunity for all WCO Members, no matter how advanced their enforcement infrastructure may be.

Export controls are becoming increasingly important to aid risk management. Customs Administrations are increasingly working together to establish integrated controls and facilitation. The timely provision of export information is an important aspect of such controls and assists Customs Administrations to make informed decisions concerning their actions and interventions. The WCO Unique Consignment Reference (UCR) number as well as the WCO Customs Data Model are prerequisites for such integrated transactions.

The WCO’s Revised Kyoto Convention also places emphasis on effective Customs controls. It requires that all goods, including means of transport, which enter or leave the Customs territory, regardless of whether they are liable to duties and taxes shall be subject to Customs control. Customs control refers to measures applied by the Customs to ensure compliance with Customs law. This includes all the statutory and regulatory provisions relating to the importation, exportation, movement or storage of goods, the administration and enforcement of which are specifically charged to the Customs, and any regulations made by the Customs under their statutory powers.