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WCO and WAEMU conclude MOU

28 abril 2015

The World Customs Organization (WCO) and the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU) concluded a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on 27 April 2015 at WCO Headquarters in Brussels.

The MOU was signed by Kunio Mikuriya, Secretary General of the WCO, and Cheikhe Hadjibou Soumaré, President of the Commission of the WAEMU.

The MOU establishes a framework for cooperation between the WCO and the WAEMU, which aims to promote co-operation on Customs matters, including enhancing the capacity of Customs administrations in West Africa to deliver statutory functions more efficiently and contribute to the economic growth and development of the region.

President Soumaré referred to the economic challenges of Regional Economic Communities and in Africa, and stressed the importance of peace and security, which could protect the economies in the region as well as society. Customs modernization and capacity needed to be further promoted and enhanced in cooperation with the WCO, and he noted four key priorities in that respect: internal transit, the Revised Kyoto Convention, trade facilitation, and the Common External Tariff.

Secretary General Mikuriya underlined the importance of improving and expediting border processing, including inter-connectivity, by enhancing cooperation between the Customs administrations and their partners, referring to Coordinated Border Management (CBM) and Customs roles in the context of regional integration. He referred to the direction and scope of the WCO's new Security Programme which would incorporate the latest initiatives and be finalized in June 2015, and he highlighted the WCO Mercator Programme which supports the implementation of the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) and provides vital impetus for Customs modernization.

In sharing common goals and visions, Secretary General Mikuriya and President Soumaré agreed under the MOU to establish an effective mechanism for consultation, co-operation and exchange of information and to actively promote the modernization of Customs administrations in the WAEMU region through the adoption and implementation of WCO instruments and tools.