Last updated: Thursday, March 23, 2017
SCCP Discuss APEC Regional Customs CooperationPosted: Wednesday, March 01, 2017
Fulfilling membership duties to APEC, the General Department of Vietnam Customs hosted the First Meeting of the APEC Sub-Committee on Customs Procedures (SCCP) from February 21 to 23, 2017 in Nha Trang City, Khanh Hoa Province.
This was the first activity in a series of SCCP meetings and events in the Year of APEC Vietnam 2017. Annual SCCP meetings are most important customs activities in APEC. This was also the second time the General Department of Vietnam Customs held this important event following the success of SCCP meetings in the Year of APEC Vietnam 2006.
As one of subcommittees and working groups under the Committee on Trade and Investment (CTI), SCCP 1 discussion contents delved into APEC 2017 and CTI priorities and themes.
Themed “Creating New Dynamism, Fostering A Shared Future”, APEC 2017 focuses on four main priorities: Promoting sustainable, innovative and inclusive growth; fostering far-reaching regional integration and connectivity; supporting micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) to enhance competitiveness, innovation and participation in global value chains; and enhancing food security and sustainable agriculture given unprecedented impacts of climate change.
Based on these priorities, CTI defined six main issues of discussion at CTI meetings to realise those priorities: Progressing towards Bogor Goals regarding trade facilitation and development of pillars of APEC 2020 agenda; continuing to enhance implementation of FTA in Asia - Pacific region; promoting APEC connectivity and supply chain linkage; facilitating micro, small and medium-sized enterprises; strengthening supporting industries as well as promoting regional and global value chains, and promoting liberalisation of services and trade.
Based on the theme and priorities of APEC and CTI 2017, SCCP agreed on an agenda for its first meeting with the focus on the following seven items: Implementing the WTO Agreement on Trade Facilitation; deploying single-window connectivity; developing authorised economic operator programmes; applying information technology and risk management in customs management; administering the management of intellectual property rights across borders; promoting cross-border e-trade; and strengthening supply chain connectivity.
SCCP selected two priorities: Ensuring trade security in supply chain with focus on implementation of measures to prevent smuggling, commercial frauds, counterfeits and knock-offs; implementing border enforcement of intellectual property rights and facilitating trade by enhanced implementation and finalisation of the single-window mechanism.
Mr Vu Ngoc Anh, Deputy General Director of the General Department of Vietnam Customs, said that Vietnam Customs hoped that counterparts from member economies will together discuss and propose solutions, recommendations and initiatives in the implementation of the Single Window and to strengthen information and experience sharing in the prevention of smuggling and trade fraud to successfully fulfil significant roles of customs authorities in facilitating trade and securing the regional supply chain.
These are also important objectives in the Collective Action Plan (CAP) which SCCP submitted to the APEC Secretariat for adoption in 2016 with the aim to reduce administrative procedures, save time and costs and bring practical benefits to the APEC business community, as well as to reform and modernise customs process. With enhanced experience exchange, capacity building and technical assistance among APEC customs authorities, it is expected that SCCP will advance connectivity and effectiveness in regional customs cooperation.
In addition to ensuring the success of SCCP meeting agenda and contributing to the overall APEC process, Vietnam Customs also hoped to play a role in promoting the Vietnamese culture and nation to international friends through a number of side activities during this meeting.