Archives For Kunio Mikuriya

kunio-addressing-cop17At the invitation of the South African Minister of Environmental Affairs, Secretary General Kunio Mikuriya addressed a “Ministerial Lekgotla” held in Johannesburg, South Africa, on 23 September 2016 as an introduction to the CITES CoP 17 World Wildlife Conference.

During the high-level panel session, Secretary General Mikuriya focused on the role of Customs in facilitating legal trade and intercepting illegal trade in wildlife and on its link to CITES and Sustainable Development Goals.

He highlighted the WCO Declaration on the Illegal Wildlife Trade, which had been adopted in 2014 and aimed at drawing the attention of policy makers to environmental crime and at raising the priority of Customs operations in this area.

He also referred to the INAMA project (started in 2014) for technical and capacity building assistance for Customs on risk management, collaboration with other law enforcement agencies and institution building to enhance integrity.  Cooperation with the transport industry was also part of the WCO efforts to improve compliance, as exemplified in the Royal Foundation Task Force Declaration on Transport, adopted earlier this year.

The presence in Johannesburg of high-level delegations also provided an opportunity for the Executive Heads of the International Consortium on Combating Wildlife Crime (ICCWC) to meet in order to further enhance the collaborative work with the CITES Secretariat, INTERPOL, the UNODC, the World Bank and the WCO.

Fianlly, Secretary General Mikuriya also had a series of bilateral meetings with key partners, including with Executive Director Erik Solheim of the United Nations Environment Programme. Source: WCO

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WCO Customs Theme 2016The Secretary General of the WCO, Kunio Mikuriya, announced today that 2016 will be dedicated to promoting the digitalization of Customs processes under the slogan “Digital Customs: Progressive Engagement.” WCO Members will have the opportunity to showcase and further promote their use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT).

The term Digital Customs refers to any automated or electronic activity that contributes to the effectiveness, efficiency, and coordination of Customs activities, such as automated Customs clearance systems, the Single Window concept, electronic exchange of information, websites to communicate information and promote transparency, and the use of smart phones.

This new era of Digital Customs has transformed the way that Customs operates. Ultimately, it ensures progression – the enhanced ability of Customs Administrations to communicate, process goods, receive and exchange information, coordinate border activities, collaborate on law enforcement actions, and promote transparency. Improved technologies thus have the ability to positively impact and transform the Customs landscape through:

  • Improved compliance as a result of increased access to regulatory information and functions, as well as services, on the part of all international trade stakeholders;
  • Faster clearance times for legitimate trade;
  • Enhanced coordination between Customs units, as well as between Customs and other border regulatory agencies at the national and international level;
  • Increased transparency in regulatory processes and decision-making;
  • The use of performance measurement to improve Customs procedures and levels of integrity, such as through the techniques presented in the WCO Performance Measurement Contracts (PMC) Guide;
  • Enhanced detection of irregularities and illicit consignments through the collection and analysis of data.

Such positive outcomes will contribute significantly towards the realization of Customs’ objectives, including improved revenue collection, border security, the collection of trade statistics, and trade facilitation. “Border agencies are increasingly embracing digitalisation to enhance their effectiveness and efficiency.

The WCO has an extensive portfolio of instruments and tools to support WCO Members in their efforts to further adopt Digital Customs.” said WCO Secretary General Kunio Mikuriya.

“Over the course of 2016, I invite all WCO Members to promote and share information on how they are implementing and using digital technologies to advance and achieve their objectives.” Mr. Mikuriya added.

The WCO’s annual theme will be launched on International Customs Day, which is celebrated annually by the global Customs community on 26 January in honour of the inaugural session of the Customs Co-operation Council (CCC) which took place on 26 January 1953.

The WCO invites the Customs community to mark 26 January 2016 in their diary. Source: WCO

For more information about Co-ordinated Border Management visit the WCO website.

20140827%20154452At the invitation of the “Institut de l’Entreprise” in the framework of its programme “Entretiens Enseignants-Entreprises”, WCO Secretary General Kunio Mikuriya spoke at the Summer University’s conference entitled “La croissance en question(s)” (growth into question(s)) in the Veolia Campus, Jouy-le-Moutier, France on 27 August 2014.

Supported by the French ministry of Education and the Council of Economic Analysis, this forum gives the opportunity to high school teachers in economics and social sciences to exchange views with the business world. It also provides them with an opportunity to update their knowledge on current economic issues benefiting from the attendance of renowned economists and prominent business leaders.

260 High school teachers participated in the event and listened to a panel session on poverty reduction during which Secretary General Mikuriya explained the contribution of Customs through enhancing connectivity at the borders to secure and facilitate global supply chain. They were eager to understand how the WCO and Customs could play a significant role in trade facilitation to convey the messages to their classrooms. Source: WCO

Heads of Customs Governing Council for the ESA Region with WCO Secretary General Kunio Mikuriya

Heads of Customs Governing Council for the ESA Region with WCO Secretary General Kunio Mikuriya

At the invitation of the Vice-Chair of the East and Southern Africa (ESA) Region, Mrs. Agnes Katsonga Phiri, Commissioner of Customs and Excise, Malawi, the Secretary General, Mr. Kunio Mikuriya attended the 19th Meeting of the Heads of Customs Governing Council ESA Region, on 15 and 16 May 2014. The meeting was hosted by the South African Revenue Service (SARS) in Johannesburg.

The Commissioner of SARS, Mr. Ivan Pillay welcomed delegates from the Members of the Region on the 20th Anniversary of democracy in South Africa, a period during which much had been achieved. He highlighted the importance of the WTO Agreement and its impact on Customs and the growth in African trade.

Addressing the Governing Council, the Minister of Finance, Mr. Pravin Gordhan emphasized the evolving role of Customs in a changing and challenging environment. The continued growth of economic activity in Africa required innovative Customs procedures to secure and facilitate trade, particularly in the context of regional integration. The WTO Agreement on Trade Facilitation (ATF) offered a golden opportunity as Customs would have a central role in its implementation. Customs must continue to enhance its operational capacity by increased automation, embracing other agencies and harmonization and simplification of procedures. The importance of Capacity Building was emphasized.

Secretary General Kunio Mikuriya gave a comprehensive report on recent WCO activities. He referred to the many developments on the WTO ATF agenda. The WCO had established a web tool dedicated to this topic, including an analysis of the ATF Articles and relevant WCO instruments with a self assessment aspect. Mr. Mikuriya recalled that the WCO theme for this year is “Communication” and asked all Members and agencies present to ensure that all were aware of each other’s activities.

Secretary General Mikuriya also met with the Minister of Finance, Mr Pravin Gordhan, to discuss a number of issues of mutual interest including implementation of the ATF, information exchange and the evolving role of Customs. The Governing Council discussed the way forward as regards ATF implementation, and expectations of trade input to WCO activities. Source: WCO

The Dublin Resolution, which was issued at the conclusion of the Policy Commission meeting in Dublin, Ireland on 11 December 2013, welcomes the WTO Agreement On Trade Facilitation (the “Trade Facilitation Agreement”), as embodied in the Bali Package’s Ministerial Decision, adopted at the WTO’s Ninth Ministerial Conference in Bali, Indonesia from 3 to 7 December 2013, under the framework of the Doha Development Agenda.

The Dublin Resolution emphasises the commitment of the WCO to the efficient implementation of the Trade Facilitation Agreement.

The WCO Secretary General, Kunio Mikuriya, said that he was very pleased with the timely and affirmative action of Policy Commission, which reflects the determination to drive forward the global Customs trade facilitation agenda.

Posted by Simon Lester for http://worldtradelaw.typepad.com

 

What Does the WCO think of the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement?

WCO ICT Conference 2013 - Dubai

WCO ICT Conference 2013 – Dubai

The 2013 WCO IT Conference & Exhibition was held in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE), from 14 to 16 May 2013 and co-hosted by Dubai Customs. The Conference theme, “Effective Solutions for Coordinated Border Management”, attracted over 1,000 participants from 93 countries and 56 Customs administrations, including 14 Directors General of Customs, other governmental agencies and the private sector, who were actively involved in sharing available information technologies, lessons learned from experience, and future visions.

The Conference was opened in the presence of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid al Maktoum, UAE Vice-President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, showing strong support for the innovative approach towards Customs modernization. In his opening speech, His Highness, Lieutenant General, Sheikh Saif Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior, welcomed the participants and stressed the importance of collaboration for effective, coordinated border management applying technology. Secretary General Kunio Mikuriya said that the contribution of Customs to economic competitiveness required better communication, cooperation, coordination and collaboration with other border agencies. In this connection, technology enabled coordinated border management, and the WCO had developed the Data Model with a standardized data set that met the requirements of border regulatory agencies. He also stressed the importance of partnership with the private sector in finding innovative solutions for IT applications, which was the objective of this Conference.

The participants enjoyed a series of panel sessions with high-level speakers from Customs, other governmental agencies, international organizations and the private sector, discussing various aspects of coordinated border management and effective solutions in applying technology. Dr. Anwar Mohammed Gargash, UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, shared his country’s vision of trade facilitation through investment in infrastructure and technology, as well as consistent policy development, while honouring international obligations.

A very large number of service providers joined the Exhibition and Tech Talks to explain the latest innovations in information technology, and they listened to the needs of Customs and other border regulatory agencies in their efforts to work together to develop joint IT solutions. Source: WCO

 

Kunio Mikuriya, WCO Secretary General, and Maria Palazzolo, Chief Executive Officer of GS1 Australia and GS1 Board Member, at the GS1 Global Forum 2013

Kunio Mikuriya, WCO Secretary General, and Maria Palazzolo, Chief Executive Officer of GS1 Australia and GS1 Board Member, at the GS1 Global Forum 2013

GS1 is a non-profit organization dedicated to the development and implementation of global specifications to manage the supply chain, including product identification codes, barcodes and business-to-business standards for the exchange of accurate data. After longstanding cooperation at the technical level, the WCO concluded a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with GS1 in 2007 to formalize cooperative ties.

At the invitation of GS1, the Secretary General of the WCO, Kunio Mikuriya, spoke at the GS1 Global Forum 2013 in Brussels on 18 February 2013 where he highlighted the increasing cooperation between the two organizations. Recalling the evolution of Customs with a heightened focus on data management for assessing risks in the supply chain, the Secretary General underlined the importance for Customs to explore the possibility of making use of supply chain specifications that are available in the trade, such as codes and specifications developed by GS1.

He specifically referred to the new WCO Economic Competitiveness Package to explain how Customs contributes to enhancing national competitiveness by facilitating trade using a risk management approach. As this requires the application of information technology, data and message standards, and consignment identifiers, it is important to employ existing technologies and tools in the trade supply chain, through a partnership with business.

Sharing a common interest in supply chain management, including track and trace systems, both organizations have been cooperating in many areas in a complementary manner, as the WCO facilitates Customs-to-Customs and Customs-to- business data exchange while GS1 also facilitates business-to-business data exchange.

Areas of cooperation between the two organizations include the work at the United Nations Centre for Trade Facilitation and Electronic Business (UN/CEFACT) and the International Standards Organization (ISO) on standardization and specifications for supply chain management, the work on the Unique Consignment Reference Number (UCR) and the use of GS1 data for Customs risk assessment purposes.

The most recent collaboration includes the addition of a barcode function to the Interface Public Members (IPM) – the WCO’s information tool to fight violations of intellectual property rights at borders. Secretary General Mikuriya urged GS1 members to leverage the collaboration with the WCO at the global level by getting in touch with their respective local Customs administrations. GS1 members appreciated his speech and pledged to explore and enhance cooperation with Customs administrations. Source: WCO

For more of the latest news and happenings at the WCO, please follow the news feed alongside (right).

WEF - Building Resilience in Supply ChainsOn 24 January 2013, the Secretary General of the WCO, Kunio Mikuriya, participated in a press conference dedicated to the launch of the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Building Resilience in Supply Chains 2013 report. Sander van ‘t Noordende, Accenture’s Group Chief Executive for Management Consulting, introduced the report and its major findings, such as the top supply chain risks that include extreme weather, natural disasters, physical and cyber security threats, along with economic and political volatility. He highlighted that the report argued the need for a coherent and consistent framework to deal with supply chain resilience, partnerships between government, Customs and businesses, and the sharing information flows for risk assessment purposes.

Secretary General Mikuriya pointed out that supply chain resilience is very important for Customs, whose functions include ensuring that legitimate trade continues even in cases of disruption, an issue which has been addressed by a set of standards and instruments developed by the WCO, in particular, the 2011 WCO Resolution on the Role of Customs in Natural Disaster Relief.  He also stressed the importance of public-private partnerships in order to share security responsibility with trusted traders through the implementation of the WCO SAFE Framework of Standards to Secure and Facilitate Global Trade and its integral Authorized Economic Operator (AEO) programme.

Cooperation at intergovernmental level with longstanding partners of the WCO, such as the International Maritime Organization (IMO), the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), the Universal Postal Union (UPU), the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the International Road Transport Union (IRU) and the World Shipping Council (WSC), was also emphasized by the Secretary General as being key to harmonizing standards and creating synergies among different stakeholders. In addition, he pointed out that transparency and trust among stakeholders in supply chains was of the utmost importance, as this led to a global cohesive approach and even stronger partnerships.

The Secretary General of the IMO, Koji Sekimizu, addressed the concerns of the maritime sector, in particular, the sustainability of international transportation within the context of supply chain resilience. He mentioned that along with the WCO, the IMO has built its approach on risk assessment and risk management, resulting in the adoption of the International Ship and Port Facility Security Code (ISPS Code), a comprehensive set of measures to enhance the security of ships and port facilities. He also touched on the issues of port infrastructure, piracy and port security, and underlined the importance of cooperation with other stakeholders, such as the WCO and ICAO. Source: WCO

New WCO Website

December 12, 2012 — Leave a comment

New look WCO WebsiteVisit the new WCO website. My impression is a very cool, uncluttered and refreshing design tailored for easy of use and the burgeoning social media space. Navigation is now a synch with the entire website content accessible via menu bar. Visit http://www.wcoomd.org/en.aspx now!

New Zealand Customs popular Contraband magazine is now available as an online publication. You can still however locate and link to previous publications that are downloadable in .pdf format. The latest edition includes articles on  –

  • What’s My Duty?, an import duty estimator to help people buying goods online know how much duty and GST they may be liable for.
  • China and NZ Customs to work more closely together on to combat the smuggling of pharmaceutical products used to manufacture methamphetamine.
  • Kunio Mikuriya, Secretary General of the World Customs Organization’s (WCO) visit to New Zealand – commending the Service for its strong reputation for border management of Customs.

Source: New Zealand Customs Service

 

Swaziland accedes to WCO RKC

The Ambassador of the Kingdom of Swaziland, H.E. Joel Nhleko, deposited his country’s instrument of accession to the International Convention on the Simplification and Harmonization of Customs Procedures (Revised Kyoto Convention) with the World Customs Organization on 31 October 2012.

“The WCO is delighted that the number of Contracting Parties to the Revised Kyoto Convention continues to show an upward trend,” said WCO Secretary General, Kunio Mikuriya. “I would therefore strongly encourage other WCO Members to accede to this important Customs instrument as soon as possible,” he added.

Some of the Convention’s key elements include the application of simplified Customs procedures in a predictable and transparent environment, the maximum use of information technology, the utilization of risk management, a strong partnership with the trade and other stakeholders, and a readily accessible system of appeals.

Having entered into force on 3 February 2006, the Revised Kyoto Convention now has 84 Contracting Parties, and is regarded as a blueprint for effective and modern Customs procedures. Swaziland has been a Member of the WCO since 15 May 1981. Source: WCO

An Egyptian delegation to the WCO Harmonized System Committee, on behalf of the Director General of Egyptian Customs, Mohamed Elalhawy, presented the Secretary General of the WCO, Kunio Mikuriya, with a colour papyrus copy of the Customs tariff applied in Egypt during the time of the Pharaohs some 2000 years B.C. The original tablet is to be found in a museum in Egypt. You can view a photograph of the Egyptian tablet by clicking here!

The Secretary General thanked Egyptian Customs for this impressive gift full of significance which clearly illustrated the historic nature of Customs tariffs dating back more than 4000 years. He expressed the hope that one day he would be able to see the original stone tablet in Egypt. The papyrus will be displayed at WCO Headquarters. Source: http://www.wcoomd.org

The Secretary General of the World Customs Organization (WCO) commended New Zealand’s strong reputation for border management. During a recent visit by the WCO’s Secretary General, the NZ Customs Comptroller said that New Zealand takes its WCO responsibilities very seriously and works closely with the WCO to develop global standards for trade.This helps to ensure a stable trade environment for New Zealand businesses to operate in around the world.

The Secretary General, Kunio Mikuriya noted that the WCO is impressed with the capacity building assistance NZ Customs has given its Pacific neighbours, and enjoyed discussing New Zealand’s valuable contribution to the WCO, with Customs and the Minister of Customs, the Hon Maurice Williamson. The Pacific is an important region for New Zealand and NZ Customs has recently worked with the Cook Islands to introduce new technology and systems to improve border security to help facilitate legitimate trade and travel.

“New Zealand has been an influential member of the WCO, and has world leading expertise, particularly with its involvement in the development of a standardised data model for trade,” said Mr Mikuriya. In recent years NZ Customs has included the development of a standardised customs data model that will be used in the Joint Border Management System (JBMS). This data model is unique as it incorporates biosecurity and food related information, and means for the first time, one data message can contain all information that border agencies require. This will streamline border processes for clients who will use the Trade Single Window when it is introduced next year. Source: NZ Customs.

The World Customs Organization (WCO) announced the successful opening of its 2012 IT Conference and Exhibition in Tallinn, Estonia which will run from 6-8 June 2012 with the theme: ” IT Transforms Core Business for Customs and its Stakeholders”.

The VIP opening ceremony included a special video welcoming speech by the President of the Republic of Estonia, H.E. Toomas Hendrik Ilves, and addresses by the Secretary General of the WCO, Kunio Mikuriya, and the Director General of the Estonian Tax and Customs Board, Marek Helm, co-hosts of the event.

This 11th WCO IT Conference and Exhibition which dates back to 2002 is the most important IT event on the international Customs calendar, allowing senior Customs executives from over 100 countries to meet with top trade representatives and solution providers in order to consider today’s business challenges as well as modern IT developments.

Gathering over 500 delegates together, the 2012 Conference will focus on “the Customs administration of the future” and includes a wide range of leading speakers from the Government and private sectors who will expand on the main theme of the event.

A dynamic IT exhibition complements the Conference, enabling various global systems aimed at maximum effectiveness and efficiency in modern Customs innovation to be displayed and demonstrated to participants.Source: WCO