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The WCO supports Pakistan Notification to the WTO TFA

12 enero 2017

In coordination with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and International Trade Center (ITC), the World Customs Organization (WCO) co-sponsored a National Workshop “Implementing the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement” which was held in Islamabad, Pakistan from 4 – 6 January 2017.The 3-day workshop was opened by Pakistan Minister for Commerce, H. E. Engr. Khurram Dastgir Khan in welcoming experts from international organizations and more than 50 participants from different government agencies and other stakeholders, including the Customs wing of the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), Ministries of Commerce, Finance and Communications (Transport), the National food Security, private sector associations, including Freight Forwarders Association, Insurance Association, Chambers of commerce, and representatives from Academic research institutes.

Pakistan has already met many of the requirements of the TFA, in particular Customs-centric measures, such as pre-arrival processing, appeals and publication of Customs-related information.  This multi-stakeholder workshop was designed to support Pakistan in the development of implementation plans for selected measures, while also supporting general awareness of the TFA, its provisions and its benefits to traders and governments.  The workshop also provided an opportunity for Pakistan to highlight its modernization and reform achievements, such as its home-grown Customs management system, which has enabled substantial achievements in automation of Customs procedures.    Expert facilitators from the WCO, UNCTAD and ITC supported the workshop’s deliberations, with a focus on measures related to risk management, post-clearance audit, appeals procedures, enquiry points and publication of average release times.  The WCO’s TFA implementation guidance and related WCO instruments and tools were central to the workshop’s deliberations. 

The WCO also took the opportunity to engage directly with Member (Customs) of the Federal Board of Revenue to discuss the WCO’s Mercator Programme and opportunities for further Customs-to-Customs collaboration under the auspices of the tailor-made track of the Mercator Programme.