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Bilateral Meeting with German Customs

10 февраля 2014

Münster, 5-6 February 2014

At the invitation of Director General of German Customs, Mr. Julian Würtenberger, the Secretary General of the WCO, Mr. Kunio Mikuriya, visited Germany to discuss various topics of mutual interest. The meeting was hosted by the German Customs administration and took place in the German Customs Training and Knowledge Academy (BWZ) in Münster.

A highlight of the meeting was the signing of an Agreement to establish a New Customs Co-operation Fund Agreement between Germany and the WCO.  The Agreement between the WCO and the German Federal Ministry of Finance will support the WCO’s modernization and Capacity Building activities.

“The Agreement further demonstrates the excellent ongoing co-operative relationship between the WCO and German Customs in the area of Capacity Building”, Mr. Mikuriya said, “Moreover,  it will significantly support the WCO’s efforts to help developing and least-developed WCO Members to meet the challenges of the implementation of the new WTO Agreement on Trade Facilitation.”

The new Customs Co-operation Fund (CCF) Germany agreement will provide financial support over the next three years primarily to those WCO Member countries located in the European and neighboring region in need of assistance. Based on the needs expressed by WCO Members, the agreement will cover organizational and Human Resource development, support for trade facilitation, further simplification of Customs procedures for importation and exportation and the establishment and development of AEO programmes in line with international standards.

At the signing ceremony, Mr. Würtenberger confirmed that “the German Government strongly believes in the WCO role, its expertise and its Capacity Building methodology to support the international Customs and Trade community”. He continued that he saw this Agreement as the next step of his country’s contributions to the work of the WCO and its Members, and that he hoped that it “might encourage even more WCO Members to join forces regarding the implementation of the WTO Agreement on Trade Facilitation and other Member needs for Capacity Building support”.

Secretary General Mikuriya and Director General Würtenberger and senior officials from the German Customs Administration also discussed a wide range of topics including the role of Customs in the implementation of the WTO Agreement on Trade Facilitation, the impact of the current economic situation on the finances of the WCO, challenges facing Customs administrations as regards the provision of training in the context of evolving responsibilities, and other issues of bilateral interest.

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