July 23, 2017 09:42

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The 129th / 130th session of the Customs Co-operation Council to be opened

21:03 | 06/07/2017

VCN- This morning, the 6th July 2017, the Secretary-General of the World Customs Organization, Dr. Kunio Mikuriya has opened the 129th / 130th session of the Customs Co-operation Council. Vietnam Customs’ delegation headed by the Deputy Director General, Mr. Nguyen Duong Thai attended the meeting.

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Vietnam Customs’ delegation headed by the Deputy Director General, Mr. Nguyen Duong Thai (left) attended the meeting.

During this meeting, the most heated themes are Security, Illegal Financial Flows Counteracting, Trade Facilitation Agreement and Data Analysis for Effective Border Management, the latter is also the main theme of World Customs in 2017.

Security is the topic that has been discussed in many meetings on Custom Controls in recent years after the terrorist attack 11/9 in the US and was reheated with the “Security” Project funded by Japanese Government starting this year in several Asian countries. Recently, in the situation that the terrorism crimes happen all over the world with homemade weapons, World Custom Co-operation Council has issued Punta-Cana Resolution in December 2015, emphasizing the role of Customs in controlling compliance and security.

About the fight against illegal financial flows, the G8 and G20 leaders are urging countries to take action on several fronts: strengthening their anti-money laundering regimes, enforcing greater transparency of company ownership, and supporting efforts to trace, freeze and recover stolen assets. They are also committed to automatic exchange of information to tackle tax evasion. The role of Customs in this strategy is collaborate with tax and other related authorities to control illegal transferring of money across the borders and combat trade mis-invoicing.

Alongside custom controls, the role of Customs in trade facilitation is promoted more than ever in this year with the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement coming into force. This is the only multilateral agreement was signed from the establishment of WTO in 1995, which attracts the political will of leaders from every country in the world. The agreement was quickly approved by two-third members of WTO since it had been passed by Ministers of Commerce and just came into force on 22nd February 2017. Vietnam has been one of the most active members participating in discussion, negotiation, and implementation of the agreement through the establishment of “the National Steering Committee for the ASEAN Single Window, the National Single Window and trade facilitation led by Vice Prime Minister Vương Đình Huệ”.

The main theme of this year - “Data analysis for effective border management”, announced in the World International Customs Day, is the extension of the “Digital Customs” theme in 2016. In the face of rapid change of technology application in e-commerce, the evolution of global value chains, it is a great challenge for Customs administrations is they cannot keep up with the development of commercial practices. The shipping size of goods trading across border is smaller but the number of shipment is increasing rapidly.

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Alongside technical issues, the meeting of World Custom Cooperation Council 2017 also discusses a range of strategic management topics in 3 working days from 5th July to 8th July. The issue of new accessions to the WCO which creating a hot debate in the meeting has indicated that the transparency and involvement of political sensitivity have been changed in this only international organization of World Customs community.

Over the past 65 years, the organization has grown steadily with the rapidly increasing number of contracting parties from the first founding 17 member countries in 1952 to more than 180 members nowadays. The core Conventions on the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System, the Revised Kyoto Convention on the Simplification and Harmonization of Customs Procedures and the SAFE Framework of Standards to Secure and Facilitate Global Trade together with variety of tools and instruments have indeed become the profound standards for facilitating and securing the flow of 98% of global trade.

By Nguyen Thi Khanh Hong