New Delhi: The 80th Session of the Policy Commission Meeting of the World Customs Organization (WCO) which concluded in Mumbai today, discussed among others, the issue of menace of illicit financial flows, including Trade Based Money Laundering and ways to control them. Other issues covered during the three-day Session included those related to Small Island Economies and how to bring them in the mainstream of the supply chain and Free Trade Zones. Member countries exchanged their experiences and best practices in different areas of cross border trade.
During the Session, the officials from the WCO presented the work being done in WCO on various areas. This included the discussion on Strategic Plan (2019-2022) of WCO to carry forward their work on trade facilitation, revenue collection, protection of society and capacity building. Delegates also discussed the importance of measuring performance for various procedures related to cross border clearance and methodologies to be adopted. Referring to different global tools to measure performance including the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business ranking, it was debated that there must be a performance measure tool for the customs in WCO, which would enable the Customs Administrations to measure their performance on different areas related to clearance of import and export goods.
The Chairman, CBIC and Member (Customs) had separate bilateral talks on the margins of the Session with different countries to deliberate on their mutual issues concerning customs. These countries included USA, UK, Iran, Uruguay, Uganda, Bahrain, Peru, South Korea, Brazil, New-Zealand, Russia and Nigeria. India and Peru signed an agreement for mutual cooperation. India and Uganda signed Joint Action Plan (JAP) for having Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA) for facilitating trade of Authorized Economic Operators(AEO) for two countries.
The three day 80th Session of the Policy Commission Meeting of the WCO was organised by the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs(CBIC), Government of India in Mumbai, India, from 3rd to 5th December 2018.
Earlier, the Meeting started on Monday, 3rd December, 2018 with Video Address by the Union Minister of Finance and Corporate Affairs, Shri Arun Jaitley. Opening Remarks were given by the Revenue Secretary, Sh. Ajay Bhushan Pandey. The Chairman, CBIC, Shri S Ramesh spoke about the reforms undertaken by the Indian Customs, which led to massive improvement in the World Bank Ease of Doing Business ranking for Trading across Borders from 146 last year to 80 this year. The Indian delegation to the Meeting also included Member (Customs), Shri P.K.Das.
The Secretary General, WCO, Mr. Kunio Mikuriya along with other top officials of WCO and customs delegations from more than 30 countries from all over the world took part in discussions on various matters related to customs.
WCO and all the Member countries thanked the CBIC for hosting this Policy Commission Session in India. Delegates thanked the Chief Commissioner (Mumbai-I), Shri Rajiv Tandon and his team for making all the logistic arrangements for the smooth conduct of the aforesaid three day Meeting of WCO.