World Customs Organization2003-04-03 17:19:42


Thursday 6 March 2003

Outline of presentation by Jouko Lempiainen, Director, Compliance and Facilitation, World Customs Organization

As an independent, intergovernmental organisation WCO has over 50 years experience in developing standards in the area of customs control and trade facilitation and more recently in the area of security and computerisation
In developing international conventions and other instruments WCO works in close cooperation with other international organisations, such as IMO (and actually most if not all international organisation present here today) as well as with the international business community.
This horizontal (business, international organisations and international customs) cooperation in developing standards and defining answers to common challenges is an important element to facilitate the implementation of results in national level.
As an example, the recently adopted WCO Resolution on Facilitation and Security of the International Trade Supply Chain, establishes the following main tasks:
Define internationally needed information to identify high-risk consignments.
Develop guidelines for advance electronic transmission of customs data for security and risk management purposes
Develop guidelines for customs and business partnership
Address the challenge of capacity building.
The completion of these tasks is more effectively done in collaboration with other international organisations and global business community (especially business being the addressee of new or amended requirements).
It is important to mention at this stage that several WCO instruments support the implementation of the Security Council's Resolution 1373.
What problems do States face in meeting standards? What would most help them improve their performance?

CTC support at government ministerial level for the customs role in security and facilitation.
Physical security and economic security; economic security is especially important to developing economies and economies in transition where the customs collected duties and taxes may sometimes represent 60 to 70 per cent of state revenue.
In addition to these short term observations in longer term capacity building and modernisation of customs administrations are essential.
Comprehensive and sustainable development of the whole infrastructure.
What actions do international organisations take with members who are not complying with international standards? Do international organisations make a division between standards, which are legally binding, and those, which are not?

WCO mostly operates in consensus
WCO Conventions become politically binding when contracting parties, governments are bound against each other.
In practice a strong compliance based on political and economic pressure WCO as a universal forum for customs, business and international organisations develops the content, official legislative machinery legislate it in national level
Are there areas in which international organisations believe future work is required on the development of standards within their purview?

Operational model including major players in international trade transaction and supply chain need to be more standardised and developed.
As most of the work is being completed the priority will be the implementation of standards. Further work is needed in building up capacities especially in developing countries.
How can the CTC support international organisations in the development, promotion and monitoring international standards? How can contact be improved among international organisations and with CTC in this area? Is there scope for reducing duplication between CTC and international organisations?

CTC political support in political arena for customs role in contributing to the international fight against terrorism.
Encourage and promote the adoption of WCO instruments that would assist in national compliance with and implementation of the Security Council Resolution 1373, such as WCO Mutual Assistance Convention, WCO Data Model for electronic customs message and International Convention on the Simplification and Harmonisation of Customs Procedures Coordinating role in international level for CTC as permanent reporting arrangement CTC to coordinate dialogue and infrastructure development in the area of capacity building

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