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Message of the WCO Secretary General on International Customs Day 2015

23 enero 2015

This year’s International Customs Day heralds the launch of the WCO Year of Coordinated Border Management (CBM), a year in which Customs administrations are encouraged to actively promote the partnerships they have built to improve and expedite border processing.

The theme entails the coordination of practices that Customs have implemented within their administrations, with other Customs authorities, and with government agencies also operating at borders, as well as with economic operators involved in cross-border trade.

Under the slogan "Coordinated Border Management - An inclusive approach for connecting stakeholders", we are signaling the international Customs community’s aspiration to further enhance its collaboration, cooperation and working relationships with its many partners.

Border agencies should work together for the common good despite varying regulatory mandates, as CBM results in better service delivery, less duplication, cost-savings through economies of scale, fewer but better targeted interventions, cheaper transport costs, less waiting times, lower infrastructure improvement costs, wider sharing of information and intelligence, and strengthened connectivity between all border stakeholders.

Given the numerous benefits that CBM can bring to all stakeholders at the border, Customs administrations have long supported the notion that applying the principles of CBM will enable the multiple public service functions undertaken at borders to be delivered more successfully, leading in turn to an improved investment climate, an enhanced trading environment, and increased economic growth.

Under the umbrella of the WCO, Customs administrations have produced numerous instruments and tools to support better CBM: the Revised Kyoto Convention contains several standards that specifically deal with CBM, such as coordinating border opening hours, performing joint controls, and setting up juxtaposed Customs offices, all of which facilitate trade; and the CBM Compendium offers technical guidance for improvements in this domain.

Integrating stand-alone border agency systems into one unified Single Window system is a core CBM principle: the WCO Single Window Compendium provides guidance to Customs on the policy, legal, and technology elements of such systems, while Version 3.0 of the WCO Data Model covers the data requirements for a Single Window environment not only for Customs, but also for other government agencies.

Last but not least, 2015 will also be the 10th anniversary of the adoption of the WCO SAFE Framework of Standards to Secure and Facilitate Global Trade, which will include the addition of a third pillar on "Customs to other government agencies", making the annual theme particularly apt and timely.

Over the course of 2015, I invite all WCO Members to share information on their CBM vision, the CBM model that they have put in place, their efforts to harmonize, streamline and simplify border management systems across all border agencies, and their CBM outreach activities to the business community.

Wishing you all a very successful International Customs Day!

Kunio Mikuriya
Secretary General