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NZ Wins Regional Customs Leadership Role

SUNDAY JUNE 30 2002

The New Zealand Customs Service has been elected to lead the Asia Pacific region of the World Customs Organisation (WCO).

The 28 Asia Pacific regional members nominated New Zealand as the Asia Pacific Vice Chair, and this was unanimously agreed at the World Customs Organisation meeting in Brussels today.

New Zealand Comptroller of Customs, Robin Dare, says this is an opportunity for New Zealand to make a significant contribution to the WCO’s efforts to improve border controls globally, to the benefit of both security and international trade.

WCO members -representing over 160 governments worldwide - at the meeting recognised the important dual role of Customs administrations and the WCO in security and community protection alongside the need to ensure trade is not impeded.

They agreed to a Resolution on Security and Facilitation of the International Trade Supply Chain (attached).

“There are significant security benefits in having the region’s customs administrations sharing information and working closely together to combat trans-national crime,” says Robin Dare.

“This has been particularly evident in response to the September 11 terrorist attacks.

“Customs business is international by nature and the Asia Pacific region is our front yard. We welcome the opportunity to work in a leadership role in the World Customs Organisation.

“The role of Vice Chair involves bringing together regional responses to issues, and coordinating assistance between members.

Robin Dare says there is a great deal of institutional knowledge and many innovative ideas within customs administrations in the region.

“During New Zealand’s two year term as Vice-chair we will be drawing on that as we seek to improve cooperation and mutual support throughout the region.”

(background information follows)

World Customs Organisation background

- The World Customs Organisation (WCO) is an independent, intergovernmental, worldwide body competent in Customs matters and has a mission to enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of Customs administrations. It has over 160 members world wide, divided into six regions. The WCO is based in Brussels and marks its 50th anniversary this year.

- The WCO is directed by the Policy Commission. The 24 members of the policy commission include the six regional Vice Chairs.

- The 28 members of the Asia Pacific Region are: Australia, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, China, Fiji, Hong Kong China, India, Indonesia, Islamic Republic of Iran, Japan, Republic of Korea, Macao China, Malaysia, Maldives, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, New Zealand, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Samoa, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Viet Nam.

- New Zealand will hold the post of Vice Chair for two years.

- New Zealand has twice previously chaired the World Customs Organisation: 1979-80 (Comptroller Jack Kean) and 1996-97 (Comptroller Graeme Ludlow). However New Zealand has not previously held the post of Vice Chair.

Background on New Zealand Customs training and technical assistance

- The New Zealand Customs Service provides training and technical assistance to customs administrations throughout the Asia Pacific region and in Africa.

- The New Zealand Customs Service contributed to the United Nations-led programme in East Timor through the deployment of staff to assist in the re-establishment of East Timor’s border control systems and subsequently in the areas of training and capacity building.

- Under the APEC umbrella, New Zealand has provided technical assistance to Customs administrations in a number of APEC members including Viet Nam, Peru, Thailand and Chinese Taipei.

- New Zealand Customs is also providing training to some ASEAN members including Myanmar and Cambodia as part of New Zealand’s Official Development Assistance (ODA) programme administered by MFAT.

Bilateral agreements

- New Zealand Customs has bilateral agreements with Customs administrations in Australia, the People’s Republic of China, Chile, Canada, Hong Kong-China, the United States, the United Kingdom and Korea.

For further information

Customs Communications Manager Janice Rodenburg (04) 4620317 or (029) 4620137.

A photo of Robin Dare can be downloaded from the photo gallery on the Customs website.

New Zealand Customs Service website: www.customs.govt.nz

World Customs Organisation Asia Pacific website: www.wcoasiapacific.org

Resolution of the Customs Co-operation Council

on Security and Facilitation of the International Trade Supply Chain

June 2002

________________________________________________________________

THE CUSTOMS CO-OPERATION COUNCIL ,

NOTING

(1) the increased global concern with respect to acts of international terrorism and organized crime, including money laundering;

(2) the importance and vulnerability of global trade;

(3) the need to secure and protect the international trade supply chain from being used for acts of terrorism or other criminal activity while ensuring continued improvements in trade facilitation without unnecessarily increasing costs; and

(4) the critical role and special expertise of Customs administrations in protecting society, combating commercial fraud, facilitating regional and international trade, and controlling the cross-border movement of goods and conveyances.

BELIEVING

(1) in the need to ensure that the world Customs community makes a dynamic and vigorous contribution to securing and facilitating world trade;

(2) that the WCO must and can assist in enhancing the capability of Customs administrations to increasingly collaborate to enhance the enforcement and facilitation capabilities of Members by encouraging greater harmonization, standardization and international guidelines which will create a basis for better international co-operation;

(3) that Members must co-operate as necessary to develop mechanisms to assist in the exchange of information between them;

(4) in the importance of co-operative relationships between and among Members, other government agencies, relevant international bodies and the private sector;

(5) in the importance of advance transmission of standardized Customs data to identify those goods and conveyances that may pose a security risk and to facilitate the movement of legitimate trade;

(6) in the importance of the effective implementation of risk management, risk assessment and targeting techniques;

(7) that all Contracting Parties to the International Convention on the Simplification and Harmonization of Customs Procedures (Kyoto Convention) must accede to the Protocol of Amendment which embodies the principles of modern Customs procedures and administration; and that on entry into force of the Protocol, all other Members who are not Contracting Parties should be urged to accede to the Kyoto Convention as amended; and

(8) that the implementation of pilot projects between or among Members, aimed at enhancing the security and facilitation of international trade, should be encouraged.

RESOLVES AS FOLLOWS :

The Secretary General shall :

(1) Ensure that :

i. by June 2003, the WCO Data Model is reexamined to ensure it includes a standardized set of data elements necessary to identify high-risk goods;

ii. by June 2003, Guidelines are developed to assist Members in developing a legal basis and other necessary steps to enable the advance electronic transmission of Customs data;

iii. by June 2003, Guidelines are developed for cooperative arrangements between Members and private industry to increase supply chain security and facilitate the flow of international trade;

iv. the expeditious use by Members of the tools contemplated in items i to iii is promoted;

v. Members’ needs for assistance in establishing supply chain security regimes are identified and a capacity building strategy is developed to assist Members in implementing this Resolution;

vi. donors are identified and invited to contribute financial, human and other resources to advance the development and implementation of supply chain security regimes;

vii. measures are taken to strengthen the assistance offered to Members wishing to improve the security and facilitation of the international supply chain by, for example, enhancing import, export and in-transit control efforts, improving automation, using risk management and risk assessment techniques to select goods and conveyances for examination, improving technology, and ensuring the integrity of their personnel; and

viii. a data bank is created on advanced technology and techniques to enhance supply chain security and facilitation.

(2) Provide for the development and implementation of the measures contemplated in this Resolution, in the framework of the WCO Strategic Plan and with the assistance of a task force of experts from within the Council Membership who, taking into account the differing capabilities and needs of Members, shall :

i. work with other competent authorities (such as the European Union, Port Authorities, Border Agencies, Transportation Authorities and Customs Unions that have competency in this area); and

ii. consult with, and involve, trade, non-governmental and intergovernmental organization stakeholders.

(3) Beginning in December 2002, report regularly to the Policy Commission and the Council on the progress made with the development and implementation of this Resolution. The Policy Commission and the Council will determine further action to be taken.

P. GORDHAN,

Chairperson.


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