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IMSC discussed key features of information management for SMART borders

07 junio 2019

The Information Management Sub-Committee (IMSC) held its 76th Meeting on 23 and 24 May 2019 at the WCO Headquarters in Brussels, Belgium. The Meeting was chaired by Mr. Sung Sig Kim of Korea Customs Service.

Mr. Stefan Kirsch, Deputy Director of Compliance and Enforcement, welcomed delegates and noted that the application of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) in Customs had a critical role in enhancing the SMART borders concept that was the WCO theme of the year 2019.

In connection to the work of the Data Model Projects Team (DMPT), IMSC delegates received the outcomes of the DMPT meetings held in January and May 2019. The IMSC examined and approved the new scope of work of the DMPT for the period 2019 / 2020 and the proposals to amend the DMPT’s Terms of Reference (TOR) that included Members’ specific roles in supporting DMPT’s work to maintain the WCO Data Model in a sustainable manner.

The WCO Secretariat informed the IMSC that based on the survey conducted in 2019, there had been an increase in the level of adoption of the WCO Data Model, as seven more Members had reported their adoption status as P1.

Taking into account the DMPT core task to maintain the WCO Data Model, a robust procedure for the maintenance processes is extremely important. In this regard the IMSC discussed and approved a draft update of the WCO Data Model Maintenance Procedure.

The IMSC noted the successful completion of the DMPT’s work on the maintenance of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) Compendium on Facilitation and Electronic Business. The deliverables of this work would enable a more seamless collaboration between Customs and Maritime authorities, such as in a Single Window environment.  Taking into account the level of maturity of the work, the IMSC agreed on the proposal that the future maintenance work should be carried out under the IMO’s umbrella in coordination with the WCO and other stakeholders.

In regard to WCO’s Digital Customs agenda, the IMSC discussed and approved the draft Handbook on Information Security Management, noting that the Handbook would be a very useful reference to address potential risks associated with rapid uptake of ICT by Customs administrations, including cybersecurity. Additionally, the IMSC discussed the outcomes of the survey on Members’ practices in establishing electronic services and suggested that the Secretariat should continue the collection of the practices from Member administrations in order to support the development of guidance on electronic services, while obviating any duplication with other tools by mapping the remit and scope thereof.

Acknowledging the new opportunities offered by blockchain technology for border management purposes, the IMSC discussed various aspects of interoperability between different blockchain platforms and their interface with Customs IT systems/Single Windows. In addition, with a view to bridge digital information gaps between different parties involved in the global supply chain, and to enable seamless flow of accurate data directly from the primary source, the IMSC discussed the need for a common approach for interfacing with supply chain data interconnectivity platforms.

Taking a collective view of several ongoing and envisaged initiatives with regard to enhanced ICT implementation in Customs and border regulatory processes, the IMSC deliberated on the important role and key features of information management for SMART borders that among others included: enhanced customized e-services; interfaced digital platforms and interoperability; well-informed decisions through big data analysis; empowering workforce through the use of advanced and emerging technologies; e-commerce; as well as e-capacity building. The IMSC agreed that further work needs to be carried forward on these key features.

The IMSC took note the importance of the Guidelines to Chapter 7 of the General Annex of the Revised Kyoto Convention (RKC ICT Guidelines), as a primary source for guiding Customs administrations on strategy, management, and operation of ICT. With view to keep the Guidelines up-to-date, the IMSC agreed to initiate a review and update process. Noting some concerns raised by a few delegates on the potential duplication with, and divergence from, the ongoing comprehensive review of the RKC being conducted by the Working Group on the Comprehensive Review of the RKC (WGRKC), the IMSC recommended that the review and update of the Guidelines should be done in close coordination with the WGRKC.

Based on a presentation by the WCO Secretariat on the development of a Handbook on Customs Communication Strategy, the IMSC agreed to support and contribute to the development of the Handbook, specifically on aspects relating to the application of ICT.

In the area of Single Window, the IMSC discussed a number of practices and case studies that were submitted by Members. The IMSC also noted the need for a repository platform for consolidating Members’ practices on different aspects of Single Window environment. IMSC welcomed the experiences presented on the exchange of information between Customs and Posts in the Single Window environment. After  hearing some practices on the exchange of information between Customs administrations, the IMSC noted the importance of promoting harmonized approach for such arrangements through the Globally Networked Customs (GNC).

Concluding the meeting, the IMSC elected Mr. Kim of Korea and Ms. Adama POTISKUM of Nigeria as the Chairperson and the Vice-Chairperson of the IMSC, respectively.

Preceding the IMSC Meeting, the DMPT met from 20 to 22 May 2019, and was chaired by Mr. Sergio Alencar of Brazilian Customs. The DMPT discussed and approved 33 Data Maintenance Requests (DMRs) submitted by Brazil, Canada and the Netherlands. Through its Focus Groups, the DMPT continued its ongoing work streams. The Data Modelling Focus Groups, for instance, completed the draft XML Message Implementation Guide (MIG) for Advance Passenger Information (API) to support the work of the WCO / International Air Transport Association (IATA) / International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) API / Passenger Name Record (PNR) Contact Committee. This Focus Group also discussed the draft of the WCO Syntax Strategy.

On the other hand, the Business Process Modelling Focus Group (BPM FG) continued the development of a content document on the Master Data Derived Information Package containing information on the definition, exchange and use of master data. The Implementation Support Focus Group carried out further work on developing an approach for supporting Members with their WCO DM adoption processes and completed its work in re-designing the new leaflet of the WCO Data Model. Lastly, the IMO FAL Focus Group initiated a work stream in developing code lists for the IMO FAL Compendium.

1 Projects involving the use of the WCO Data Model are underway or have been completed