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The WCO Working Group on the WTO Agreement on Trade Facilitation holds its 1st Meeting

13 marzo 2014

The 1st Meeting of the World Customs Organization (WCO) Working Group on the World Trade Organization (WTO) Agreement on Trade Facilitation (WGATF) took place on 11 and12 March 2014.

In attendance were many Member Customs administrations as well as representatives from Ministries of Finance, Trade and Foreign Affairs. They were joined by relevant stakeholders, including the WTO, international organizations representing other border agencies, donor institutions and the private sector.

The WGATF was opened by the WCO Secretary General, Kunio Mikuriya. In his remarks, Secretary General Mikuriya emphasized the important role of Customs administrations in implementing the WTO Agreement on Trade Facilitation (ATF) and the role of the WCO in assisting by means of its instruments, tools, technical assistance and capacity building.

As set out in the December 2013 WCO Dublin Declaration, the purpose of the WGATF is to advise the Policy Commission, the Permanent Technical Committee, the Capacity Building Committee and the Secretary General on the full range of issues concerning the ATF. The WGATF is the global Customs community’s unequivocal response to the WTO ATF, which calls for the support and advice of the WCO in implementing and managing the ATF. Specific work will be carried out by the WGATF and brought forward to the appropriate committees for endorsement or further direction.

The WGATF elected Ms. Gugu Treasure Dlamini from Swaziland as Chairperson and Mr. Carlos G. Enriquez Montes from Mexico as Vice-Chairperson.

Delegates were apprised of the WCO’s role in the implementation of the ATF, the relevant strengths of the WCO, the standard-setting activities resulting in relevant instruments and tools, the cooperation with other international organizations, the existing network of experts, and the WCO’s ATF communications strategy, as well as its expertise in technical assistance and capacity building. Cooperation with donor institutions and donor countries in sharing activities in support of the ATF will be instrumental for the effective and efficient implementation of the ATF.

The WCO Secretary General commended the WGATF for its work. “As the leading inter-governmental organization on Customs matters and trade facilitation,” said Secretary General Mikuriya, “the WCO and its Members are taking a leading role in the implementation of the ATF. The global Customs community stands together in pursuing a harmonized approach using WCO instruments and tools. In addition, the WCO is assisting ATF implementation with technical assistance and capacity building.”

Photos

  • WCO Secretary General, Kunio Mikuriya addressing the Working Group on the WTO Agreement on Trade Facilitation

    WCO Secretary General, Kunio Mikuriya addressing the Working Group on the WTO Agreement on Trade Facilitation

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  • 1st Meeting of the Working Group on the WTO Agreement on Trade Facilitation held on 11 and 12 March 2014

    1st Meeting of the Working Group on the WTO Agreement on Trade Facilitation held on 11 and 12 March 2014

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