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WCO Asia/Pacific Regional Heads of Customs Administrations Conference

10 mayo 2019

At the invitation of Mr. Pranab Kumar Das, Asia/Pacific Regional Vice-Chair and Chairman of the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) of India, WCO Secretary General Kunio Mikuriya attended the 20th Asia/Pacific Regional Heads of Customs Administrations Conference held in Kochi, Kerala, India from 8 to 10 May 2019.

Chairman Das extended a warm welcome to delegates from 23 Members of the Region, and to representatives from the Regional Office for Capacity Building (ROCB) and the Regional Intelligence Liaison Office (RILO).  

Secretary General Mikuriya highlighted the critical role played by technology in streamlining Customs procedures and outlined the key areas of work covered under the WCO theme for 2019 : “SMART borders for seamless Trade, Travel and Transport”.

He presented the WCO’s key priorities captured in the new Strategic Plan, highlighting, among other things:

  • automation, data analytics, and the use of technology;
  • existing initiatives addressing emerging security threats;
  • performance measurement, including the work being carried out to ensure that the World Bank takes into account Customs' input when preparing the “Doing Business" report;
  • the WCO Framework of Standards on cross-border e-commerce; and
  • the strategic review of key WCO instruments, such as the Harmonized System and the Revised Kyoto Convention.

The Conference listened to a progress report on implementation of the 2018-2020 Regional Strategic Plan, as well as activity reports by the Vice-Chair, ROCB and RILO.  Delegates discussed a broad range of topics, including Trade Facilitation, Small Island Economies, Performance Measurement, Security and Cruise Ships.  Directors General of Customs also held breakout sessions on the topic of e-Commerce to discuss ongoing and future work.

Secretary General Mikuriya joined with delegates to thank the Indian authorities for the warm welcome and hospitality extended to participants. 

The Regional Heads of Customs Administrations Conference was preceded by a Trade Day held on 7 May. The event, attended by over 150 delegates representing Customs and the private sector, focused on trade facilitation as a driver of economic prosperity.  Issues addressed included e-commerce, supply chain logistics, blockchain technology and trade partnerships.