13-15 May 2019, Saipan, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI)
At the invitation of Mr. Jose C. Mafnas, Director of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) Customs Service cum Chairman of the Oceania Customs Organisation (OCO), Mr. Kazunari Igarashi, Head of the ROCB A/P, attended the 21st OCO Annual Conference, which was held on 13-15 may 2019 in Saipan, CNMI, along with Mr. Ricardo Trevino, Deputy Secretary General of the WCO. More than 80 participants, including delegates from 23 OCO Member Customs administrations and representatives of the OCO’s partners, including the WCO, took part in the Conference.
In the wake of the opening ceremony, which was attended by CNMI’s Governor, Attorney General and Secretary of Finance, Mr. Trngila Elikana, Associate Minister of Finance of the Cook Islands and Mr. Tuilagi Teii, Director of Tuvalu Customs deposited their instruments of accession to the Revised Kyoto Convention (RKC) to Deputy Secretary General for Secretary General. In his congratulatory remarks, WCO Deputy Secretary General welcomed these two accessions by non-WCO Member States as complementing the WCO’s on-going discussion on the Small Islands Economics development initiatives.
The Conference discussed sets of pertinent topics under the theme of “A United Pacific Working Towards A Common Solution.” WCO Secretary General and Mr. Igarashi joined the other panelists and discussed the WCO’s initiatives on trade facilitation and e-commerce under the Session 1 on Trade facilitation and the Session 2 on Revenue Mobilization, respectively. Other panel discussions focused border security and digital capacity, in which the representatives of the OCO Members and its partners spoke about challenges and possible way forward. In the course of a social program organized at the end of first day, Mr. Roy Lagolago, interim Head of the OCO Secretariat, presented a token of appreciation to Mr. Igarashi in recognition of his professional dedication and cooperation with the OCO and its Members, which has led to series of OCO Members’ accessions to the RKC, during his 5-year tenure.
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