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Second Meeting of APEC Sub-Committee on Customs Procedures: Useful Initiatives

Posted: Monday, August 28, 2017

In the APEC Year 2017, on the sidelines of the Third Senior Officials Meeting, the Second Meeting of APEC Sub-Committee on Customs Procedures (SCCP 2) was held in in Ho Chi Minh City from August 19 to 21 2017. The meeting brought together delegates from APEC member economies, the APEC Secretariat, the World Customs Organisation (WCO), and Committee on Trade and Investment (CTI).

Following SCCP 1 in Nha Trang in February 2017, the APEC Sub-Committee on Customs Procedures (SCCP) reached much consensus on the implementation of important contents of APEC 2017, with the most notable result delving into the accelerated full enforcement of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) Trade Facilitation Agreement, and considered the possibility and practicality for the launch of the International Single Window Initiative in APEC.
The results of SCCP 1 Meeting were highly appreciated by CTI, the APEC National Secretariat and the APEC International Secretariat for the effectiveness of SCCP's proposed initiatives and contributions to the goal of facilitating and securing APEC regional trade security. Following SCCP1 achievements, two major objectives of SCCP 2017 in APEC's overall objectives are (i) facilitating trade and (ii) securing supply chain security specified in SCCP Collective Action Plan (CAP) and SCCP Work Programme 2017.

Accordingly, SCCP 2 further discussed and developed a plan for implementation of eight major SCCP contents: Supply Chain Connectivity Framework: SCCP’s high agreement at the Meeting will continue to be carried out within the capacity of SCCP to support SOM and CTI in applying SCFAP II. Single Window: Members agree to continue improving the National Single Window and pledge to add more effort to consider the possibility of connecting this mechanism among APEC member economies. Authorised Economic Operator (AEO): SCCP emphasises the continuation of priority business programmes in member economies, efforts in cooperation and signing of Mutual Recognition Arrangements to facilitate importers and exporters. Cross-border E-commerce: SCCP encourages customs authorities of member economies to further strengthen risk management programmes to ensure both trade facilitation and increased compliance in commercial activities of enterprises. Enhancing Customs - Business Partnership: In addition to emphasising the need for close coordination between relevant authorities and border management agencies, SCCP addresses the promotion of public - private partnership to contribute to achieving SCCP's priorities in 2017.

Information Technology and Risk Management: SCCP deems it a necessary and effective tool for customs enforcement activities. Therefore, sharing experiences in information technology application and risk management and technical assistance for completion of customs reform and modernisation programmes among customs authorities in the region is considered an important activity that SCCP will need to implement in the future. Intellectual property Rights Enforcement Management: SCCP emphasises that trade facilitation must go with supply chain security, thus increasing cooperation in anti-smuggling, trade fraud and counterfeiting identified by members as a key activity in assisting in achieving supply chain security objectives.

SCCP continues to implement activities to support trade recovery in the region by establishing a network of APEC members and developing mechanisms for trade information exchange among customs authorities in the region on the basis of recommendations and guidelines of the World Customs Organisation. Strengthening cooperation and connectivity between SCCP and APEC committees, sub-forums and working groups: SCCP continues to develop cooperation activities to facilitate border management agencies, including customs authorities, to maximise connectivity in border control in relation with BWG, CTWG, ESCG and some other subcommittees through such proposals as anti-terrorism, travel facilitation Initiative (TFI), security assurance programmes, information collection for simplification of documents and procedures relating to rules of origin (MAG).

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