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WCO Asia Pacific Regional Heads of Customs Administrations Conference

11 mayo 2012

WCO Asia Pacific Regional Heads of Customs Administrations Conference

Samui, 8-11 May 2012


At the invitation of the Director General of Thai Customs, Somchai Poolsavasdi, in his capacity as Vice-Chair for the WCO Asia Pacific region, the Secretary General of the WCO, Kunio Mikuriya, attended the 14th WCO Asia PacificRegional Heads of Customs Administrations Conference held in Samui, Thailand from 8 to 11 May 2012. The Conference was opened by Thailand’s Deputy Minister of Finance, Tanusak Lek-uthai, who appreciated the important work being done by the WCO and Customs administrations in the region.

In his address the Secretary General updated the meeting on developments at the WCO; especially issues discussed by the WCO Policy Commission at their meeting in December 2011. He emphasized progress made on key areas identified as potential concerns in the discussion on evolving and emerging risks – revenue fraud, drugs interdiction, intellectual property rights (anti-counterfeiting activities and the development of the WCO’s Interface Public-Members tool), security (SAFE Framework of Standards and air cargo), and environment crime. He also outlined progress in the area of Globally Networked Customs which was now understood to be the sharing of information between willing WCO Members on an agreed scope using WCO standards.

The Secretary General referred to the development of the Economic Competitiveness Package (ECP) which would identify WCO instruments that could assist WCO Members to position their administrations to cope with the current difficult climate and to be ready to take advantage of any economic upswing. He also emphasized the need for the WCO to be placed on a sound financial footing, expressing the hope that Members of the WCO would support the modest increase recommended by the Finance Committee.

Delegates discussed a range of current topics, reviewed progress on their 2010-2012 Regional Strategic Plan, endorsed the Strategic Plan for 2012-2014, pledged support for Programme Global Shield, and accepted Fiji’s proposal to establish a Regional Training Centre and China’s proposal to establish a Regional Drug Dog Training Centre. Participants also heard a report from the Regional Office for Capacity Building (ROCB) on the framework for the use of regional experts, in addition to being advised about the smooth transfer of the Regional Intelligence Liaison Office (RILO) from Beijing, China to Seoul, Korea. They agreed to Vanuatu’s affiliation to RILO Asia/Pacific.

Japan provided an update on its extensive capacity building measures, Korea made a presentation on capacity building for Customs modernization and automation, and New Zealand highlighted current trends on global trade developments, particularly the need for trade facilitation, the application ofconsistent standards, engagement with the trade, andCustoms agencies working together.

The meeting took note of the recommendationscontained in the Report of the WCO Working Group on the Composition of the Policy Commission, the nomination ofAustralia as Vice-Chair for the region, and the nomination of China, Hong Kong, China, India, Japan and New Zealand to the Policy Commission and Japan, Korea and Pakistan to the Finance Committee. Delegates expressed their sincere appreciation to Thai Customs for the excellent arrangements and for the warm welcome that they had received.