WCO and UPU support Asia-Pacific Customs and Posts to strengthen cooperation and the exchange of advance electronic information

08 mayo 2017

Sydney, Australia, 1-5 May 2017

The World Customs Organization (WCO) and the Universal Postal Union (UPU) with the support of Australian Border Force, Australia Post, Korean Customs Cooperation Fund and the WCO Regional Office of Capacity Building (ROCB) for Asia-Pacific Region, organized a Joint WCO-UPU Customs-Post Workshop for the Asia-Pacific Region from 1 to 5 May 2017 in Sydney, Australia.

In their opening remarks, Mr. Tim Fitzgerald, Regional Commander Australian Border Force, Ms. Ros McCarthy, General Manager Australia Post, the WCO, the UPU, the ROCB, and Customs and Postal Spokespersons highlighted the need for an enhanced collaboration and the exchange of information between Customs and Post to better leverage new opportunities stemming from growing E-Commerce and to collectively meet current and emerging challenges in the postal supply chain.

The Joint Workshop was attended by over 100 participants representing Customs administrations and designated postal operators from 30 countries/jurisdictions of the Asia-Pacific Region (Australia, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, Fiji, Hong Kong China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Kiribati, Korea, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Maldives, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, New Zealand, Pakistan, Philippines, Singapore, Solomon Islands, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu, and Vietnam).

Based on the current regional and national situations of Members of the Region, the experts from the WCO and the UPU presented detailed information on their individual and joint instruments, standards, and tools relating to facilitation and security of postal items, best practices and successful case studies.

Besides, Experts from Australian Customs and Post, United States Postal Service (USPS), Canada Post, La Poste, and Royal Mail also shared their respective working experiences, challenges and solutions they had successfully implemented, particularly in the area of cross-border E-Commerce and strengthening of working arrangements between respective Customs and Post including the capture, transmission and use of advance electronic data.

The Workshop examined various ways to implement advance electronic exchange of information (pre-loading/pre-arrival) between Posts and Customs by using the UPU’s Customs Declaration System (CDS) and/or any other customized solution based on the joint WCO/UPU Customs-Post EDI messaging standards and the WCO Data Model, for an efficient risk management and improved service delivery.

Other issues that were discussed in detail included the accession to the Revised Kyoto Convention (RKC) by non-Contracting Parties, the acceptance of the RKC Specific Annex J, Chapter 2 on Postal Traffic, the exchange of advance electronic data, E-Commerce (e.g., processing of small parcels, screening technologies, de minimis, and revenue collection), trusted partnerships. measures improving compliance to Customs requirements (e.g. data quality) at the origin, and the implementation of the WTO Agreement on Trade Facilitation.

In addition, through a breakout session, the Workshop explored key identified issues (legal framework; partnership; advance electronic information - risk management; process and logistics; and technology and automation) together with associated critical tasks/activities that need to be considered in order to strengthen the ongoing cooperation between Customs and Posts with a view to further facilitate and secure postal supply chain, thus enabling faster movement of growing volumes of E-Commerce shipments.

Another important aspect of the workshop was the sharing of 25 national experiences where Customs and postal officials delivered joint presentations on the existing situation regarding postal-Customs clearance and potential ways to improve it. This also led to the development of respective draft project plans for future reflections going forward.

Participants also visited the Sydney Gateway Facility to observe the practical aspects of postal operations and some innovative screening practices implemented by Australia.

The Workshop enhanced participants’ knowledge of the relevant WCO and UPU instruments and tools in terms of strengthening existing cooperative relationships between Customs and postal operators at the national level, in particular the electronic exchange of advance information. Participants acknowledged the importance of the Joint Workshop that provided, among others, a common platform to discuss issues of mutual interest and explore potential solutions at the regional level in achieving shared objectives, besides learning from others’ working examples and best practices.