Informal dialogues on Customs-Business cooperation for trade facilitation



15 December 2014, Bangkok, Thailand

At the invitation of theInternational Federation of Customs Brokers Associations (IFCBA), Mr. Kazunari Igarashi, Head of the ROCB A/P, and Mr. James Wong, Program Manager for Southeast Asia of the ROCB A/P, joined part of the Meeting of Managing Directors of the IFCBA held on 15 December 2014 in Bangkok, Thailand, and had an informal dialogue on possible collaboration between Customs and Customs Brokers for facilitating legitimate trade.  

In the course of the dialogue, both sides shared views on the important roles being played and to be played by Customs Brokers in terms of supply chain security and trade facilitation by provision of good compliance guidance to traders as well as collection and provision of accurate data to Customs, which is really an enabler for Customs to conduct risk assessment at a right time, rather than just presenting documentation for clearance of goods. Given that the Customs Brokers are the primary and most frequent contact with Customs for various Customs procedures, their support to move forward Customs integrity issue was discussed. Turning to the implementation of the new Pillar 3 of the SAFE Framework, i.e. Cooperation between Customs and Other Government Agencies (OGA), it was agreed that the Customs Brokers could contribute a lot to this end as they often deal with the requirements of these OGAs, thus give further momentum towards introduction of national Single Window system. IFCBA’s probable contribution, as one of the prominent business associations and key stakeholders, to the global efforts in implementing WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement was also discussed.

IFCBA has concluded an MOU with the WCO in June 2010, and its Secretary (Ms. Carol West) is the current Chairperson of the Private Sector Consultative Group. It is therefore anticipated that this informal dialogue provided both the IFCBA and the ROCB A/P with some food-for-thought for future cooperation at global and regional levels.  

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