India has become the Vice Chair of the Asia Pacific Region of World Customs Organisation (WCO) for a period of two years, from July 2018 to June 2020.
The Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) in partnership with Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) is organising an event on July 16, 2018 in New Delhi, to mark the assumption of the new leadership role.
• The event will be attended by the Customs delegations from 33 countries of the Asia-Pacific Region, Customs officers from different Ports in India, Partner Government Agencies and representatives from the trade among others.
• The Secretary General of WCO, Kuniyo Mikuriya will deliver the key note address at the event, while Heads of Customs from Japan and Fiji, and senior officials from Korea, Singapore and China among others, shall participate in the Ceremony.
• The underlying theme of the inaugural ceremony will be ‘Customs – Fostering Trade Facilitation’.
• The inaugural ceremony will be followed by a seminar on cross-border trade through e-commerce and the role of customs administration.
• The seminar would focus on the framework of standards spearheaded by WCO to cope with the exponential growth in e-commerce shipments and the tsunami of parcels that cross borders every day.
The WCO has divided its membership into six Regions, among which each of the six regions is represented by a regionally elected Vice-Chairperson to the WCO Council.
The position of Vice Chair of the Asia Pacific Region of WCO will enable India to take on the leadership role in the organisation.
India has a wealth of experience in promoting security and facilitation of cross-border trade.
• The World Customs Organization (WCO) was established in 1952 as the Customs Co-operation Council (CCC).
• It is an independent intergovernmental body, headquartered in Brussels, Belgium, whose mission is to enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of Customs administrations.
• Currently, WCO represents 182 Customs administrations across the globe that collectively process approximately 98 per cent of world trade.
• The WCO is noted for its work in areas covering the development of international conventions, instruments, and tools on topics such as commodity classification, valuation, rules of origin, collection of customs revenue, supply chain security, international trade facilitation, customs enforcement activities, combating counterfeiting in support of Intellectual Property Rights (IPR), drugs enforcement, illegal weapons trading, integrity promotion, and delivering sustainable capacity building to assist with customs reforms and modernisation.
• The WCO’s governing body, the Council, relies on the competence and skills of a Secretariat and a range of technical and advisory committees to accomplish its mission.
• The Secretariat comprises over 100 international officials, technical experts and support staff of some nationalities.
• Besides playing a vital role in stimulating the growth of legitimate international trade, the WCO also helps combat fraudulent activities.
• By promoting the emergence of an honest, transparent and predictable Customs environment, the WCO directly contributes to the economic and social well-being of its members.
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