The WCO Deputy Secretary General, Mr. Ricardo Treviño Chapa, attended the WCO-COMALEP Private Sector Meeting entitled “Coordinated Border Management: A pending challenge”, as well as the XXXIXth Meeting of Customs National Directors of Latin America, Spain and Portugal, held in Los Cabos, Mexico from 18 to 20 April 2018.
The opening ceremony of the Private Sector Meeting on 18 April, co-organized by the World Customs Organization (WCO) and the Multilateral Agreement on Mutual Assistance for Directors General of Customs of Latin America, Spain and Portugal (COMALEP), was chaired by Mr. Francisco Gil Leyva, Mexico’s Director General of Customs and COMALEP Permanent Secretary.
In his opening remarks, Deputy Secretary General Treviño Chapa expressed the view that Productivity and Efficiency were inherent benefits of coordinated activities and added that the WCO promoted actions that harmonize individual efforts by Customs and its stakeholders, thereby strengthening global trade. He further stated that effective coordination led to better trade and economic development. The Deputy Secretary General’s proposal to set up regional private consultation groups, as a coordination mechanism to ensure that the concerns of the private sector were reflected in the Customs agenda, was accepted as a regional agreement.
At the XXXIXth session of COMALEP on 19 and 20 April, Mr. Treviño Chapa stated that given the prevailing business environment, priorities should be re-evaluated prior to their inclusion in the new WCO Strategic Plan for the period 2019-2022. He informed the session that letters have already been sent to regional vice-chairs to obtain their feedback on regional priorities. Discussions regarding the setting-up of a Strategic Plan Working Group, to advise the WCO Secretariat on the new strategies and tactical activities for the coming years, are expected during the next Policy Commission and Council session.
The agenda for the two-day meeting comprised several panel sessions covering various topics: information exchange and actions relating to Data Harmonization among Customs of the Pacific Alliance, non-intrusive inspection with presentations on the use of the K9 Program to detect currency, weapon and drugs, and discussions on the use of the Unified File Format (UFF), discussions on the gaps to WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement Compliance and risk management with presentations on illicit trade, undervaluation, piracy and new technologies.
In the same forum, the Deputy Secretary General participated in a panel where he presented the WCO’s Data Model and Single Window tools. He stated the relevance of WCO tools for data harmonization, strengthening coordinated border management, and improving information exchange for better risk analysis. In keeping with these statements, the WCO reiterated its commitment to facilitate communication and interaction among Customs administrations.