10 June 2016, Kashiwa, Japan
10 June 2016, Kashiwa, Japan
The WCO, in cooperation with the WTO, ROCB A/P and Japan Customs, organized WCO Asia/Pacific Regional Workshop on the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) on 6-10 June 2016 at the Regional Training Center in Japan (Japan Customs Training Institute) in Kashiwa, Japan. A total of 29 delegates from 23 WCO Member administrations in the A/P region and 6 resource persons, including 2 WCO Secretariat officials, namely Mrs. Milena Budimirovic and Mr. Theo Hesselink, as well as a WTO Secretariat resource person, Mr. Alejandro Gamboa-Alder, participated in this important regional capacity event. Mr. Kazunari Igarashi, Head of the ROCB A/P, participated in this important Workshop as a facilitator and one of the resource persons. This Workshop was the first of its second round of the “over-all track” initiative under the on-going Mercator Program, following the one held in March 2015 in Jakarta, Indonesia.
The Workshop was opened with the remarks by Mr. Hiroshi Kishimoto, Deputy Director General of Japan Customs and Tariff Bureau, Ministry of Finance, in which he stressed the significant economic implications accrued from the early and full implementation of the WTO TFA. As of 6 June 2016, when the Workshops started, 81 WTO Members have accepted the TFA and thus it is anticipated that this instrument may enter into force by the end of 2016. Therefore, the Workshop was a very timely event.
The program of the Workshop featured experience sharing among the Member administrations on the least implemented provisions of the TFA, such as Authorized Operators, separation of the release of goods from determination of duties and taxes, risk management and post clearance audit, transit, advance rulings, establishment and publication of Time Release Studies, among other things.
Following presentations on the interpretation of the respective provisions, a series of the WCO instruments and tools were introduced in detail with a view to deepening the Members’ understanding on these facilitation measures. Participants contributed by sharing their national practices and experiences in their implementation, followed by an interactive question and answer session. In the context of the cooperation among relevant border agencies and private sector, representatives from the International Organization of Animal Health (OiE) and Japan’s export industries association joined the Workshop at the invitation of the WCO and contributed to the Workshop during the panel discussions.
Participants recognized the value of this Regional Workshop and reaffirmed their continued commitment in implementing the WTO TFA at national and regional levels through close contact and experience sharing among them. The WCO and ROCB A/P are going to remain committed to provide various opportunities and platform to this end.
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