The Eighth Virtual Meeting of the Working Group on the Comprehensive Review of the Revised Kyoto Convention (WGRKC) was held in two Phases:
- 14 to 25 September 2020, CONSULTATION PHASE (including mini virtual sessions) via the CLiKC! WGRKC Forum;
- 7 to 9 October 2020, VIRTUAL MEETING (English and French) from 1.00 p.m. until 4.00 p.m. Brussels time (CET), using the KUDO platform.
Phase II was attended by more than 120 delegates from 63 WCO Member Customs administrations, as well as by nine (9) external stakeholders.
Mr. Ricardo Treviño Chapa, WCO Deputy Secretary General, delivered the opening remarks. Noting that the Eighth Meeting of the WGRKC was its final meeting and acknowledging the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, he expressed his gratitude to everyone involved for the hard work and support thus far and for the substantial progress made in this important endeavour. He stressed that the Eighth Meeting formed part of the decision-making phase, given the need to complete the WGRKC’s Final Report with Recommendations for further consideration by the 23rd Session of the RKC Management Committee (RKC/MC). He therefore encouraged participants to contribute fully to this last Meeting in order to reach consensus in an effective and efficient manner using the nine hours of virtual meeting time available to them.
Having been tasked by the 22nd Session of the RKC/MC to finalize Step 1 of the four-Step framework, the WGRKC, through the Phase I and Phase II virtual sessions, discussed all the Track B, track-less and new proposals concerning the Body, General Annex (GA) and Specific Annexes (SAs) of the RKC. The proposals discussed focused mainly on the Use of Advanced Technologies, Data Issues, Advanced Goods Declarations, Authorized Economic Operators, Electronic Payment of Duties, Customs Controls, Relationships with Third Parties, Post-Clearance Audit, Publication and Availability of Information, Processing of Goods, Advanced Rulings, Warehouses, Free Zones, Travellers, Relief Consignments, Express/Expedited Shipment, Means of Transport, and Temporary Admission. The Phase II Meeting held via the KUDO platform made the final decisions and determined the ultimate recommended track status for all the proposals put forward.
As mandated in the WGRKC’s Terms of Reference, its Eighth Meeting prepared a Final Report with Recommendations that was discussed and completed during the last day of the Phase II KUDO session. The Recommendations as a whole include a total of 133 proposals to be considered by the RKC/MC in Step 2 of the framework. These Recommendations also include proposals relating to the Body of the Convention, focusing on Future Proofing, Monitoring, Reporting and Evaluation, Structure, and Enrichment of Definitions. The WGRKC Chairperson will present the Working Group’s Final Report with Recommendations to the RKC/MC at the latter’s 23rd Session scheduled for 16 to 18 December 2020.
In conclusion, the WGRKC delegates, together with the WCO Secretariat, expressed a special debt of gratitude to the WGRKC Chairperson, Mr. Rob Van Kuik (Netherlands), for diligently chairing all eight Meetings and ensuring that the Working Group’s mandate was successfully fulfilled.