WCO Open Day for Trade Reinforces Customs-Business Partnership

Although this was a WCO-ICC event, IFCBA Secretary Carol West spoke on the opening panel, with WCO Deputy Secretary General Sergio Mujica and Mr. Nabyl Lakhdar, Director, Facilitation and Information Technology, Moroccan Customs Administration.  Speaking in her role as Chair of the WCO Private Sector Consultative Group, Ms. West presented some PSCG and personal views about the Private Sector Perspective: A Shared Vision for Future Collaboration.

Brussels, 28 June 2011
Press Release

Participants from the business sector as well as representatives from Customs administrations gathered in Brussels to attend the Open Day for Trade organized by the World Customs Organization (WCO) from 27-28 June 2011 at its headquarters, focused on the theme “Sharing Knowledge to Strengthen the Customs-Business Partnership”.

“The event provided an opportunity for the private sector in particular, to learn more about the activities of the WCO and Customs both internationally and regionally, said “WCO Secretary General Kunio Mikuriya. “Sharing of information between leaders and experts from both Customs and business leads to improved compliance with Customs requirements and better understanding of business needs,” he added.

As part of the WCO Open Day for Trade, the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and the WCO signed a revised Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that sets out a list of agreed activities and improved channels of communication. Since the signing of the first MoU in 1996, the WCO and the ICC have cooperated regularly to ensure synergy between their various working programmes and to encourage closer ties between Customs and business.

“One long-standing aspect of our partnership with the WCO is, since the early 60s, the administration of the ATA Carnet System and more recently the Global Congress on Combating Counterfeiting and Piracy,” said ICC Secretary General Jean-Guy Carrier in his keynote speech during the Open Day for Trade.

The WCO-ICC partnership also addresses the need to stop counterfeiting and piracy in Free Trade Zones and in this regard, the ICC Secretary General said that they look forward to working with the WCO and national governments to strengthen intellectual property enforcement in Free Trade Zones, which would include due diligence and voluntary actions on the part of business.

“The ICC and the WCO have a long history of working together on international Customs issues including those that positively impact on national Customs operations such as the ATA Carnet System, a key trade facilitation instrument,” said Secretary General Mikuriya. “Signing a revised MoU with the ICC has reinforced the partnership between the world business organization and the global Customs community,” added Mikuriya.

The WCO and the ICC are pleased to renew their cooperation agreement and are certain that their joint initiatives for Customs facilitation will benefit businesses and Customs administrations alike, resulting in an overall improvement in Customs-business relations.

“We set out to promote knowledge as a key driver of excellence, and to demonstrate our commitment to the Customs-Business Partnership,” said WCO Deputy Secretary General Sergio Mujica, chair of the Open Day for Trade. “I am quite confident that we achieved both our aims while providing the ideal venue for even more high-level Customs-Trade and Trade-Trade networking, including dynamic interactions between business and the WCO Secretariat.”

The WCO Open Day for Trade is followed by the WCO Knowledge Academy for Customs & Trade which will run until 8 July 2011 at WCO headquarters: visit www.wcoomd.org/event.htm to register online.