1 June 2016, Funafuti, Tuvalu
At the invitation of the Oceania Customs Organisation (OCO), Mr. Kazunari Igarashi, Head of the ROCB A/P, attended the 18th OCO Annual Conference held on 1 June 2016 in Funafuti, Tuvalu, as an observer. The Conference was convened under the theme of “Digital Customs: Progressive Engagement” synchronized with the WCO’s theme for 2016, and attended by 26 delegates from 17 OCO Member Customs administrations, 12 representatives from 11 OCO partner organizations, including WCO.
The Conference officiated by the key note address by Honorable Mr. Maatia Toafa, Acting Prime Minister and Minister of Finance and Economic Development Planning of Tuvalu, in which he stressed the relevance of the Conference theme with the needs of the day to better contend with trade facilitation and supply chain security as well as assuring revenue collection. He underlined the needs for improving Customs effectiveness and efficiency with streamlining Customs procedures and pushing forward business re-engineering, while paying due attention to the diverse realities in Customs working environment, especially in small islands countries, and their predominant priorities on revenue collection.
Under the chairmanship of Tuvalu, the delegates discussed OCO’s governance and management issues, including budget and annual work plan, which was followed by an informal technical workshop session. Under the workshop session, in the wake of an introductory presentation made by OCO Secretariat, Mr. Igarashi made a presentation on “Digital Customs and Single Window Implementation,” in which he highlighted the implications of the digitization in Customs operation along with the relevance with other building blocks of the WCO’s 21st Century Customs Vision. Referring to the “SW environment” under the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA), he further touched upon the pertinent provision of the WTO TFA on Single Window, and introduced a set of the WCO instruments and guidelines for SW, as well as the WCO’s Mercator Programs’ 2-pronged approach to support its Members to implement the WTO TFA.
The OCO Secretariat and Members thanked the WCO and the ROCB A/P for their continued cooperation with the OCO and WCO Members in the Pacific Sub-region.
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