The WCO Deputy Secretary General, Mr. Ricardo Treviño Chapa, attended the 2019 Development Partners Coordination Meeting for the Americas and Caribbean region held in Washington, D.C., United States on 14 March 2019. The event was co-organized by the WCO, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and hosted by the IDB.
Representatives from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), World Bank, OEA, United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and the Dominican Republic Customs Administration, in its capacity as regional Vice-Chair, also participated in the event.
Mr. Fabrizio Opertti, Manager for Integration and Trade, IDB, opened the Meeting by greeting the participants, followed by the IMF Representative Ms. Katherine Baer, Chief of the Revenue Administration Division for Latin America, the Caribbean and Africa, who welcomed the opportunity to meet and coordinate efforts within the region.
During his address, Deputy Secretary General Treviño Chapa highlighted the importance of holding this Meeting annually as a way to capitalize on regional synergies, work closely with regional partners supporting capacity building, and address specific regional issues in a more relevant way.
The Deputy Secretary General explained that the WCO was dedicating 2019 to the swift and smooth cross-border movement of goods, people and means of transport, with the slogan “SMART borders for seamless Trade, Travel and Transport.” Through simplified, standardized and harmonized border procedures, and by securing borders, the WCO is encouraging its Members to look at how they can reengineer business processes while applying new technologies, and how they can work “smartly” to achieve an interconnected global value chain that fosters economic growth in an inclusive manner.
As part of WCO’s ongoing work to develop a new Strategic Plan for the years 2019 to 2022, six regional meetings were held and input was collected from Members. One of the new priorities highlighted is the need for the WCO to review and update its Capacity Building Strategy, taking into account the many changes having occurred in the Customs environment. The current WCO Capacity Building Strategy was first adopted by the WCO Council in June 2003
The participants of the Meeting were invited to attend the next session of the Capacity Building Committee in April 2019 at the WCO Headquarters in Belgium, where an initial draft of the new Strategy will be discussed. The new Strategy aims to reflect the views of the international Customs community and calls for a more targeted, coordinated and sufficiently well-resourced capacity building delivery approach in Customs.
While in Washington, Deputy Secretary General Treviño Chapa held bilateral meetings with representatives from USAID, IDB and IMF as well as with U.S. CBP’s Commissioner, Mr. Kevin McAleenan, to discuss ways to strengthen cooperation between both Organizations. The discussions focused more specifically on issues regarding the comprehensive review of the revised International Convention on the Simplification and Harmonization of Customs Procedures, otherwise known as the Revised Kyoto Convention (RKC), the WCO Strategic Plan 2019-2022 and the Framework of Standards on cross-border e-commerce.