TODAY IS SUNDAY, JUNE 16, 2019, 6:53:13 PM
Russia heads the European Region of the World Customs Organization for another year

Russian delegation headed by Ruslan Davydov, First Deputy Head of the FCS of Russia, participated in the 78th Council Session of the World Customs Organization (WCO) that ended on June 30 in Brussels. Ruslan Davydov was reelected as the Vice-Chairperson of the Council of the World Customs Organization and Chairperson of the European Region.

At the sessions of the Council the international customs community supported several Russian initiatives, in particular, compliance with the general tendency for reduction of duty-free threshold in online cross-border shopping as well as necessity to create own country assessment tools for the WCO and strengthening of the Organization’s leadership in this area, development of interaction between the customs and tax authorities.

Member countries of the WCO approved the proposals of the FCS of Russia concerning the creation of the permanent work group for assessment of efficacy of customs authorities and the development of own comprehensive professional assessment system that will become the most advanced international tool in this sphere. Customs authorities confirmed the necessity of acknowledgment of the leadership of the WCO in customs administration processes and border crossing of commodities by other international organizations such as the IMF and the World Bank.

Interaction of the customs and tax authorities was proposed as a separate area in the set of the WCO initiatives aimed at institutional development. It was highlighted that efficacy of cooperation between the authorities did not depend on the internal administrative structure (single authority or separate organizations, incorporated in the structure of ministries or not) and it can be backed by modern technologies. WCO as the center of advanced experience in the sphere of information exchange and technical support for the countries would lead the way in such processes.

Russian party takes methodical efforts aimed at extension of use of new working languages in the WCO in addition to the official English and French. The Council approved the Russian initiative concerning launching of two-year pilot project of simultaneous translation of several key meetings of the WCO working bodies into Russian, Arabic, Spanish and Portuguese. Delegation of the FCS of Russia mentioned the presence of language barrier preventing customs administration experts from the WCO accreditation. The Council supported the proposal on search of the WCO accreditation possibilities for experts with regional status allowing them to carry out educational, expert and advising activities in regions in their native languages.

In the background of the WCO sessions also a traditional meeting of BRICS Customs Cooperation Committee was held within the framework of which the customs authorities of five countries adopted the Customs Cooperation Communiqué. The document established the main areas for the cooperation in BRICS customs sphere and specified the time frame for the implementation of joint multipartner projects, among which there are creation of BRICS training centers in Xiamen and signing of the Intergovernmental Agreement concerning mutual administrative assistance in customs matters by the heads of the five countries before 2019.

During the final day of the WCO Council’s Session the elections of the Secretary General of the World Customs Organizations took place where Kunio Mikuriya, the current Secretary General of the World Customs Organization, was re-elected for the third term.


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World Customs Organization is an international organization joining efforts of the customs authorities from 181 country. Member countries of the WCO comprise 98% of the global trade turnover. Superior management bodies of the WCO are the Council and the Policy Commission.