2014 IFCBA World Conference

The International Federation of Customs Brokers Associations held its bi-annual world conference "Celebrating 25 Years of Trade Facilitation through Expertise and Innovation" in Seoul, Korea from May 13-17, 2014. Please click here for the press release and for the new IFCBA executive team. 

About the IFCBA

The IFCBA has been representing the interests of the worlds' customs brokers and their clients since 1990. Many of our member asoociations have been involved in similar activities within their own countries for nearly a century. » more

Recent News

While in Brussels for the WCO meeting of the working group on the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement, IFCBA representatives met with the WCO Secretary General, Mr. Kunio Mikuriya to discuss matters of concern to customs brokers around the world.  Attending this meeting with Mr. Mikuriya were IFCBA Chair, Mr. Shantanu Bhadkamar; IFCBA Managing Directors, Ms. Candace Sider and Mr. Pedro Bequengue; IFCBA Past Chairman, Mr. Jaime King; and IFCBA Secretary, Ms. Carol West.

WCO Secretary General, Mr. Kunio Mikuriya and IFCBA Chair, Mr. Shantanu Bhadkamkar

 

From left to right: IFCBA Past Chairman, Mr. Jaime King; IFCBA Secretary, Ms. Carol West; IFCBA Managing Director, Ms. Candace Sider; WCO Secretary General, Mr. Kunio Mikuriya; IFCBA Chair, Mr. Shantanu Bhadkamkar; and IFCBA Managing Director, Mr. Pedro Bequengue

Program seeks to encourage voluntary disclosure of customs violations in exchange for reduced penalties, inspections.

A pilot program to study the efficacy of a customs self-disclosure program in China could be extended past the end of 2014, according to the trade law firm Mayer Brown.

According to the firm, for the last year, China’s General Administration of Customs has been studying the feasibility of introducing a customs voluntary disclosure program. Since July, the GAC has been gradually implementing a pilot “enterprise self-discipline” program at selected regional customs offices, including Tianjin, Wuhan, Nanjing, Suzhou, Xiamen, and the Shanghai Free Trade Zone.

The program is similar to voluntary disclosure programs in various developed countries, Mayer Brown said. It provides for more lenient treatment by customs for voluntarily reported non-compliance activities.

“Although some customs offices announced that the current pilot program is only valid till end of this year, we believe that this pilot will lead to changes in legislation that will formalize the program,” the firm said. “It has also been proposed within customs to add voluntary disclosure when revising the Regulation on Customs Audit. We expect that a formal regulation on voluntary disclosure will be put on the GAC agenda sooner rather than later.”

To benefit from the pilot program, shippers are encouraged to conduct their own internal compliance review to identify any non-compliance trade issues, investigate the reasons for the non-compliance and estimate the value of the potential exposure, and compile documentation to support their case. They would then submit a voluntarily report of the non-compliance to customs via a self-audit report.

Advantages of self-reporting include lenient, mitigated or no administrative penalties; reduced or exempted late-payment surcharge for duty/value-added tax drawback; exemption of formal customs audit this or next year.

This has been excerpted from the 30 September 2014 issue of American Shipper.

WTO economists have reduced their forecast for world trade growth in 2014 to 3.1% (down from the 4.7% forecast made in April) and cut their estimate for 2015 to 4.0% from 5.3% previously.

The downgrade comes in response to weaker-than-expected GDP growth and muted import demand in the first half of 2014, particularly in natural resource exporting regions such as South and Central America. Beyond this specific downward revision, risks to the forecast remain predominantly on the downside, as global growth remains uneven and as geopolitical tensions and risks have risen.

This has been excerpted from a 22 September 2014 press release by the World Trade Organization and is available in its entirety at:
http://www.wto.org/english/news_e/pres14_e/pr722_e.htm

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi won a pledge from Chinese President Xi Jinping to invest $20bn as the leaders sought to adjust a lopsided trade relationship and resolve a flare-up on their disputed border.

Leaders of the world’s two most populous countries yesterday announced a five-year plan in which China would invest $20bn to help reduce India’s largest trade deficit with any single country. China will also help set up industrial parks in the Indian states of Maharashtra and Gujarat, which Mr Modi ran before taking power in May.

“We agreed that our economic relations do not do justice to our potential,” Mr Modi said at a joint briefing with Mr Xi in New Delhi yesterday.

Mr Modi on Wednesday said he received assurances that China would take steps to address a worsening trade balance between the nations and improve market access for Indian companies.

This has been excerpted from a 19 September 2014 article by Kartikay Mehrotra and Unni Krishnan of Bloomberg and is available in its entirety at:
http://www.pressdisplay.com/pressdisplay/showarticle.aspx?article=55af5f16-a457-45fa-b199-8e7486e12bb8

Latin America is a region of great diversity and endless opportunities for imports and exports. Given this diversity, both economic and political, companies doing business in Latin America need to stay informed of the latest regulations and opportunities from the various countries' governments where they are doing business. In an effort to assist you in staying up-to-date,

In this edition, we highlight updates with the implementation of a single vehicular patent in the Mercosur region, the efforts to achieve the integration between the Pacific Alliance and Mercosur, and the negotiations between Russia and the Latin American region. This newsletter is for informational purposes only, and we encourage you to reach out to your local Customs Authorities or compliance consultants if you have questions on these programs.

This article is available in its entirety on the Integration Points website at:
http://www.integrationpoint.com/newsletters/latin-trade/latin-trade_Sep2014.html