At the kind invitation of the Indian Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC), the Policy Commission held its 80th Session in Mumbai from 3 to 5 December under the chairmanship of Mr. Enrique Canon, Director General of Uruguay Customs.
The meeting was opened by the Indian Revenue Secretary, Mr. A.B. Pandey, and delegates were also addressed at the opening ceremony by the Minister of Finance of India, Mr. A. Jaitley, and the Chairman of the CBIC, Mr. S. Ramesh.
During the three days of the meeting, the Policy Commission discussed a wide range of subjects, including a number of new topics on its Agenda : Monitoring/evaluation of the implementation of WCO instruments and tools; Review of the Harmonized System; Free Trade Zones; Small island economies; and the new Strategic Plan for 2019 to 2022. Delegates also engaged in a dialogue with a representative from the World Bank Group (WBG) who presented the WBG’s latest work on “Doing Business” and its “Trading across Borders” section.
The Policy Commission also received progress reports on several ongoing programmes and initiatives, including the four WCO Packages – on Economic Competitiveness, Compliance and Enforcement, Revenue, and Organizational Development (Capacity Building) – as well as the pilot project on the use of additional languages at the WCO.
All these topics will be followed up over the coming months. The Outcomes of the Policy Commission session will be made available on the Members’ Website shortly.
The Policy Commission delegates expressed their gratitude to the Chairman of the CBIC and his officials for their warm hospitality and the excellent organization of the session.
In the course of the session, a Memorandum of Understanding formalizing the relocation of the East and Southern Africa Regional Intelligence Liaison Office to Harare was signed by the Secretary General and the Commissioner General of the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority. An Agreement was also signed with the President of Bahrain Customs to make Bahrain Customs’ Arabic translation of the Revenue Package documentation available to WCO Members.