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Joint Meeting of the ATA/Istanbul Convention Administrative Committee held at the WCO

20 noviembre 2020

The 19th Meeting of the Administrative Committee for the Convention on Temporary Admission (Istanbul Convention) and the 16th Meeting of Contracting Parties to the Customs Convention on the ATA Carnet for the Temporary Admission of Goods (ATA Convention) were held jointly from 5 October to 16 November 2020 in two phases: a document-based consultation process and a virtual meeting session. Some 114 experts from 29 Contracting Parties to the Istanbul Convention, 35 Contracting Parties to the ATA Convention, 9 observer countries and 7 international organizations registered for the two-phase Meeting. The virtual meeting session, held on 16 November 2020 via the KUDO platform, was attended by over 65 delegates.

In his opening remarks, Mr. Pranab Kumar Das, World Customs Organization (WCO) Director of Compliance and Facilitation, welcomed Contracting Parties and observers to the joint Meeting of the ATA/Istanbul Convention Administrative Committee. He thanked the International Chamber of Commerce World Chambers Federation (ICC WCF) for playing a leading role in the implementation of the electronic ATA Pilot Project, stressing the importance of digitalization of the Admission Temporaire/Temporary Admission (ATA) Carnet for simpler, safer, cheaper and more efficient ATA Carnet procedures both for Customs and private sector stakeholders. He welcomed the electronic Carnet de Passages en Douane (CPD), called Arjo, developed by the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) for greater facilitation of the temporary management of vehicles. He informed the Meeting that Vietnam had acceded to the Istanbul Convention in April 2019, thus becoming the 71st Contracting Party. Uzbekistan had also acceded to the Istanbul Convention in June 2020, thereby becoming the 72nd Contracting Party.

The Committee designated Mr. Dmitry Subochev (Russian Federation Customs Administration) as Chairperson of the Meeting, and Ms. Gordana Vidanovic (Serbia Customs Administration) as Vice-Chairperson.

The Committee took note of developments concerning the creation of the eATA Carnet and eCPD system, which had been discussed at the Meeting of the eATA Working Group held on 20 January 2020. In October 2019, the Working Group had implemented the eATA Carnet Pilot Project which was managed by the ICC for the purpose of preparing a full production version of the system. Even though the schedule had been delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Committee had decided to continue preparing an eATA system by focusing on collecting more test results and use cases. The main feature of the eCPD, called Arjo, was a facilitation tool for commercial/private vehicles and its strength was the ability to combat fraud through a security measure using a hologram sticker, without changing the CPD carnet issuing process. The Committee also discussed and approved the draft notification text activating the use of the eATA Carnet in the Contracting Parties.

The Delegates of Switzerland and China presented their national experiences of testing the eATA process to the Meeting, covering issues such as traceability, security and data protection, training Customs officers, and use cases during the Pilot period. These national experiences would serve as an important reference when developing the system. The Swiss Federal Customs Administration expected to replace paper ATA carnets with an electronic version to promote worldwide use of the ATA carnet and simpler traceability, and to ensure security and data protection. China Customs had launched a pilot on 1 January 2020 at Beijing Capital Airport and Beijing Daxing International Airport and this would contribute to the development of the ATA Carnet, optimize the environment for doing business and facilitate the Customs declaration.

The Committee reached a consensus on the question of whether or not Customs could raise duties and taxes based on import vouchers not signed by ATA holders/representatives, as presented by the ICC WCF. This interpretation would encourage clear implementation of the Istanbul Convention with respect to missing signatures on ATA Carnets.

The ICC presented the impact of COVID-19 on ATA Carnet operations, sharing national experience of and information on Customs facilitation gathered from National Guaranteeing Associations (NGAs). The Committee took note of the key challenges raised by the COVID-19 pandemic and decided to explore possible measures to overcome them.