14-17 May 2018, Sigatoka, Fiji
The Fiji Revenue and Customs Service (FRCS), who is currently assuming the role of the WCO A/P Regional Vice Chair, convened the 19th Regional Heads of Customs Administration (RHCA) Conference on 14-17 May 2018 in Sigatoka, Fiji, and more than 50 delegates from the regional Member administrations and observers from the WCO Secretariat as well as RILO A/P and ROCB A/P participated in this high-level regional conference. Mr. Kazunari Igarashi, Head of the ROCB A/P, attended the Conference.
In the wake of the Opening remarks by Mr. Visvanath Das, Chief Executive Officer of the FRCS, and keynote address delivered by Dr. Kunio Mikuriya, Secretary General of the WCO, the Conference heard a series of activity reports and discussed wide range of topics which are relevant to the current and future Customs work. As one of the key documents, the Conference unanimously adopted the revised Terms of Reference of the ROCB A/P, which further elaborates the tasks of the ROCB A/P and instructs to set and monitor its key performance indicators. Under the designated agenda item, Mr. Igarashi made a presentation on the ROCB A/P’s activities undertaken in this current fiscal year and relevant statistics. Among others, he introduced the gist of the recently published Customs Good Practice Reports highlighting the increasing positive impacts accrued from the regional capacity building activities as identified by the Regional Workshop Follow-Up Survey. A good number of delegates took the floor and gave their kind words of compliments and encouragement, as well as some suggestions for the future capacity building and technical assistance programs in the A/P region. Mr. Igarashi also made a progress report on the Focus Area 3 (Capacity Building) of the A/P Regional Strategic Plan 2016-2018. Accordingly, the Conference adopted the proposed Regional Strategic Plan 2018-2020 to renew and further enhance regional collaboration among the Member administrations and the WCO’s regional entities, including the ROCB A/P. In the margin of the Conference, Mr. Igarashi had a round of informal talks and consultations with the delegates on future collaboration in capacity building and technical assistance activities in the years to come.
The Conference endorsed the Korea’s proposals on accrediting their Central Laboratory as a WCO Regional Customs Laboratory and renewing their hosting of the RILO A/P for another term. The Conference also discussed the region’s threat assessment and needed collective actions focusing air passengers and cruise ships. Delegates also heard oral presentations made by the vying candidates for the WCO Secretary General, who is elected at the upcoming the WCO Sessions in June 2018. The Conference appreciated and presented sincere compliments to Mr. Das, CEO of the FRCS, and his colleagues for their tenacious and hard working as the Regional Vice Chair last two years and welcomed India’s undertaking as the incoming Vice Chair.
Prior to the RHCA Conference, the FRCS organized the Private Sector Engagement Conference on 14 May 2018 under the theme of “Border Management Solutions: the way forward” which was attended more than 100 delegates from both Customs and private sectors. Following a key note address by a multi ward-winning speaker and researcher from Australia, which provided the delegates with the speaker’s insights on the foreseen trends in technological innovation in trade and E-commerce. Delegates also took part in a series of interactive technical workshops regarding data solutions, border solutions, and trade solutions, which provided invaluable food-for-thought for the main sessions of the RHCA Conference.
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