WCO shares its views on air cargo security and e-commerce at the Air Cargo Development Forum

The WCO Deputy Secretary General, Mr. Ricardo Treviño Chapa, attended the 2nd Air Cargo Development Forum, an event organized by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and bringing together experts to discuss and address emerging issues in the development of air cargo and propose solutions for identified regulatory and operational challenges to the growth and full liberalization of air cargo and e-commerce. 

The Forum, held in Zhengzhou, China, from 5 to 7 September 2018, was opened by Mr. Xu Guang, Vice Governor of Henan Province, and Dr. Liu Fang, Secretary General of the ICAO who addressed an international audience of representatives of the air cargo industry, airport authorities, national regulating agencies and international organizations. Mr. Treviño Chapa, who was invited to give a keynote speech, reminded participants that facilitating and securing legal trade is key to achieving sustainable economic development and that, both to secure the supply chain and optimize the movement of goods traded across borders, the WCO is constantly promoting the use of efficient risk management tools and platforms to its Member Customs administrations. 

Focusing on air cargo security, Mr. Treviño Chapa highlighted the need for advance data to address immediate air cargo security risks and the fact that the WCO has adopted standards for submission of electronic Advance Cargo Information (ACI) by various entities in the air cargo supply chain, including postal operators, having added these to its SAFE Framework of Standards to secure and facilitate global trade in 2015.  He also informed participants that this year saw the publication of the “Advance Cargo Information (ACI) Implementation Guidance”. 

Turning to e-commerce, an issue of great relevance to the air cargo industry as it has been one of the drivers of the sector´s growth in recent years, the Deputy Secretary General explained that challenges surrounding the management of e-commerce transactions have been discussed at length in the WCO by Customs authorities and stakeholders over recent months. Explaining that the WCO is constantly listening to its Members’ needs and developing new instruments to assist Customs administrations fulfill their mandate, Mr. Treviño Chapa informed the audience that, in June 2018, WCO Members had adopted a Framework of Standards on Cross-Border E-Commerce. The Framework, which will offer guidance when developing or reviewing strategic and operational frameworks for e-commerce, will be further enriched in the coming months, primarily through finalization of the technical specifications addressing issues such as identity management, as well as other aspects such as definitions, data elements, revenue collection models and case studies. 

During the Forum, the Deputy Secretary General also moderated a panel on “Optimizing Air Cargo Benefits in a Liberilized Environment” in which the panellists and audience discussed potential changes and innovations in the sector that could help increase the use of air cargo as a mode of transport. 

While in Zhengzhou, capital of central China’s Henan Province and one of China’s Cross-Border E-Commerce Pilot Cities, Mr. Treviño Chapa also met with the Vice Governor of Henan Province and with the ICAO´s Secretary General to discuss opportunities for working together.  During his trip, Mr. Treviño Chapa also met with Mr. Li Guo, Vice Minister of the China Customs Authority, to follow up on several ongoing and future collaboration initiatives between the WCO and China.