Codex Alimentarius Commission (CAC) and the WCO working together to improve Coordinated Border Management

13 noviembre 2014

The CAC ( ) was established by the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the World Health Organization (WHO) in 1963 to develop harmonised international food standards, guidelines and codes of practice to protect the health of consumers and ensure fair practices in the food trade. The WCO received the status of official observer of the CAC in 2013.

The CAC comprises several committees and one of them is of particular interest to the WCO, the Codex Alimentarius Commission Committee on Food Import and Export Inspection and Certification Systems (CCFICS). This Committee develops principles and guidelines for food import and export inspection and certification systems with a view to harmonising methods and procedures which protect the health of consumers, ensure fair trading practices and facilitate international trade in foodstuffs ( )

The WCO attended the last CCFICS meeting in Brisbane, Australia, 13-17 October 2014 and informed CCFICS of WCO activities that are relevant to CCFICS such as the preparatory work concerning the implementation of the World Trade Organization (WTO) Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) and the WCO Instruments and Tools that enable WCO Members to prepare for the implementation of trade facilitation measures.

The WCO explained that its Instruments and Tools are fully consistent with the TFA and will support its implementation. The Revised Kyoto Convention (RKC), the SAFE Framework of Standards to Secure and Facilitate Global Trade (SAFE), the Harmonized System (HS), and many other tools, such as the Coordinated Border Management Compendium and the Single Window Compendium and Repository, provide for simplified Customs procedures and improved border management processes, as well as a more predictable and transparent trade environment for legitimate cross-border trade.

The ability of Customs administrations to successfully prepare for the implementation of the TFA provisions will depend largely on their direct engagement, agility and cooperation with other border regulatory agencies. WCO instruments and tools support the adoption of a coordinated approach through mechanisms such as the Single Window concept. Key instruments in this domain are the Time Release Study guidelines that identify problem areas from the arrival of the goods to their release, and the WCO Data Model which facilitates the efficient exchange of information between business and governments by offering standardized data required by Customs and other border control agencies, including electronic versions of relevant certificates.