November 21, 2019 15:29

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The 13th ASEM Directors General and Commissioners Meeting was successful: Adopting seven actions

15:55 | 12/10/2019

VCN - In the closing session of the 13th ASEM Directors General and Commissioners Meeting, on the morning of October 10th, leaders of the Customs administrations of ASEM  Member States have adopted ASEM Customs Plan and the Ha Long Declaration and highly appreciated the role of Vietnam Customs in successfully organizing the meeting.  

the 13th asem directors general and commissioners meeting was successful adopting seven actions Ha Long Declaration of the 13th ASEM Directors-General and Commissioners
the 13th asem directors general and commissioners meeting was successful adopting seven actions 3 priorities at the 13th ASEM Customs Directors-General Meeting
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the 13th asem directors general and commissioners meeting was successful adopting seven actions
Director General of Vietnam Customs Nguyen Van Can delivered a speech at the meeting. Photo: H. Nu

Adopting seven actions

As the chair of the 13th ASEM Customs Directors-General and Commissioners Meeting, Director General of Vietnam Customs Nguyen Van Can said that the priority areas of ASEM Customs through meetings include: trade facilitation and security of the supply chain, combating counterfeiting and enforcing intellectual property rights, protecting society and the environment, solving business and ASEM visibility.

“These are not only priority areas of ASEM Customs Administrations but also for all Customs Administrations over the world. Connectivity is an important target in the ASEM Customs cooperation,” Nguyen Van Can said.

At the 13th ASEM Meeting, leaders of Customs Administrations of ASEM Member States agreed to build the ASEM Customs Action Plan for 2020-2021 based on agreed priorities as well as ASEM's priority on connectivity.

At the 12th ASEM in 2017 in Germany, Customs Directors-General approved four priorities in customs cooperation for the period 2018-2019 and these are priorities throughout ASEM customs cooperation activities from 2009 to the present.

The 13th ASEM Meeting reviewed the results of the ASEM Customs Action Plan for 2018-2019. Based on reports and proposals of coordinators on eight actions, representatives of ASEM Member States realized that some of the actions have fulfilled the objectives and were proposed to finish such as trade facilitation and customs procedures; facilitating paperless customs processes; JCO on fast-moving consumer goods and border enforcement related to international postal items.

Although these actions have been completed, as the chair of the meeting, Director General Nguyen Van Can noted Customs Administrations some priority actions such as trade facilitation and ASEM visibility. In addition, three actions have been proposed, including customs management of cross-border e-commerce; connectivity-transit and single window for speedy clearance, automation and integrated risk management. Director General Nguyen Van Can also asked ASEM members to continue their efforts to carrying out cooperation initiatives and activities related to these contents in appropriate forms.

At the 13th ASEM Meeting, Vietnam Customs received four proposals for the new Action Plan. Specifically, Japan Customs proposed "effective and efficient border control through the use of new technologies."

This action is to assist Customs Administrations of ASEM Member States in effective and efficient border enforcement by utilizing disruptive technologies (emerging technologies such as blockchain, artificial intelligence and biometrics). Malta Customs proposed "Customs management and intervention in transhipment hubs."

This proposal is to track shipments at transshipment hubs, combating transshipment fraud, and facilitating transshipments.

Vietnam Customs and the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) proposed a "Green Customs Campaign” to prevent the illegal shipment of waste and hazardous substances. This action aims to strengthen the connectivity, cooperation and information sharing between the Customs Administrations of ASEM Member States for import, export activities and illegal transportation of waste. Vietnam Customs also proposed strengthening the dialogue mechanism to strengthen communication among members and promote cooperation and information sharing.

After consultations, Customs Administrations of ASEM Member States have adopted the ASEM Customs Action Plan for 2020-2021, including seven actions: Customs management of cross-border e-commerce coordinated by Korea, China, and Poland; Connectivity - Transit coordinated by China, Austria, Germany; Single window for speedy clearance, automation and integrated risk management coordinated by India, Thailand, Italy and the EU; Effective and efficient border enforcement by utilizing disruptive technologies coordinated by Japan; Customs management and intervention in transshipment hubs coordinated by Malta, and Vietnam; Joint Customs Operation on dangerous substances and waste shipments coordinated by OLAF, Vietnam and Cambodia, and Enhancing the organization of the ASEM customs dialogue and connectivity cooperation among ASEM Customs Administrations coordinated by Hungary and Vietnam.

13th ASEM opens opportunities

Speaking at the closing session of the 13th ASEM Meeting, Director General Nguyen Van Can said: “We have ended two positive working days, discussed and agreed on important priorities within the framework of ASEM. The meeting has approved the Chair’s summary and Ha Long Action Plan together with ASEM Customs Action Plan for 2020-2021 with useful and practical initiatives, affirming the determination in cooperation to respond to global emerging challenges. The results represent the high consensus of Directors-General and Commissioners of ASEM Member States as well as future activities. Directions of Directors- General will be deployed by the ASEM Working Group on Customs matters in the future.”

Director-General of Vietnam Customs Nguyen Van Can expects that Customs Administrations, especially coordinators, continue to actively realize ASEM Customs Action Plan and implement objectives agreed at the meeting. “I believe that the Meeting is an opportunity for meeting and connecting ASEM members besides further promoting the current cooperation. Vietnam Customs expects to receive more support and cooperation from the WCO, the EU, the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) and Customs Administrations of the ASEM Member States, particularly information exchange and experience sharing in the area of Customs,” Director General Nguyen Van Can said.

By Hong Nu/ Huyen Trang