8-10 May 2019, Kochi, India
20th WCO A/P Regional Heads of Customs Administration (RHCA) Conference was convened on 8-10 May 2019 in Kochi, India, in which more than 80 delegates from 19 Member administrations participated. In addition, 6 representatives from the WCO Secretariat, including Dr. Kunio Mikuriya, Secretary General, and the ROCB A/P and the RILO A/P attended as observers. Mr. Kazunari Igarashi, Head of the ROCB A/P, attended the Conference and made presentations on the ROCB A/P’s report and the implementation of the A/P Regional Strategic Plan 2018-2020 on capacity building. In the course of his presentation on the ROCB A/P’s activities, he highlighted the invaluable dedication of other ROCB A/P staffs seconded by the regional Member administrations, and the impact of the regional capacity building activities conducted over the last 4 years, which are leading to the initiation new modernization projects and complementing the on-going efforts of reform and modernization. Given that Mr. Igarashi is to complete his terms at the end of June 2019, at the end of his activity report, expressed his sincerest appreciation for the support and guidance provided during his tenure by all of the ROCB A/P’s stakeholders, among others, the Regional Vice Chairs (Malaysia, Fiji and India), the host administration (Thailand), his home administration (Japan), WCO Secretary General and the professionals including Regional Development Managers, ROCB A/P staffs and the regional Member administrations. In the wake of his presentation, several delegates took the floor and gave their kind words of compliments and encouragement. Mr. Igarashi also exchanged warm words with the delegates in the margin of the Conference and renewed friendship and professional exchanges with them.
The Conference, which was chaired by Mr. P.K. Das, Chairman of the Central Board of Indirect Tax and Customs (CBIC) and the Regional Vice Chair, discussed a set of important policy and technical issues, such as small islands economic development, trade facilitation, performance measurement, security and enforcement, and e-commerce among others. The Conference endorsed the appointment of Mr. Norikazu Kuramoto of Japan as next Head of the ROCB A/P for a 5-year term starting from July 2019. On this occasion, WCO Secretary General presented a plaque of commendation to Mr. Igarashi for his tireless efforts and engagement to the regional capacity building programs and accomplishments achieved during his 5-year tenure.
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