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WCO and German Customs to continue their excellent cooperation

19 septiembre 2012

WCO and German Customs to continue their excellent cooperation 

Germany, 19-20 September 2012


At the invitation of the Director General of German Customs, Mr. H.J. Stähr, the Secretary General of the WCO, Kunio Mikuriya, visited Germany from 19-20 September 2012 to discuss current developments in the WCO and to learn more about the many initiatives under way in the German Customs administration.

Both parties recognized the importance of maintaining excellent relations with other international organizations and contributing to mutually agreed objectives and operational activities on the basis of parity of mutual respect and recognition of competencies. The lessons gained from operational activities need to be translated into positive improvements of WCO Member administrations through capacity building.

The Secretary General acknowledged the generous and important support received from Germany by way of strategic input to policy matters and additional resources made available to the Secretariat to help it deliver its programme of work. In this regard, the Director General confirmed that Germany would send an additional Technical Attaché for enforcement work and make resources available to develop and promote the WCO Cybercrime agenda, in addition to continuing their contribution to the WCO Capacity Building Directorate.

Secretary General Mikuriya mentioned the continuing development of WCO programmes funded by donors, and said that the Organization will concentrate on matching donors with Members’ needs and that this approach was proving successful with many programmes currently under way.

Also, of significance is Germany’s contribution to the Western Europe Regional Intelligence Liaison Office (RILO), without which the RILO could not function effectively. Other issues discussed included the necessity to ensure compatibility between different computer systems to allow for the single transfer of information to multiple interested parties, for example seizure data to both OLAF and the WCO’s CEN system.

The Secretary General outlined his strategy to promote the use of WCO instruments, including the development of the Revenue Package and the more recently unveiled Economic Competitiveness Package.

Whilst in Germany, the Secretary General accompanied Director General Stähr on visits to the German Customs Museum, a popular destination for visitors to Hamburg, and the port of Hamburg, where the application of Customs procedures was seen in practice. The size of the port and daily throughput of containers based on risk management is impressive, and the use of Customs boats and X-ray machines contribute to the fight against trafficking in drugs and illicit goods.

Secretary General Mikuriya expressed his appreciation to Director General Stähr and his management team for their continued support of WCO activities and looked forward to maintaining this excellent cooperation in the future.