ICC and WCO sign agreement to strengthen working partnership
The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and the World Customs Organisation (WCO) today signed a revised Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that sets out working activities between the two parties.
The signing took place as part of a two-day conference, entitled Open Day for Trade, hosted by WCO at its headquarters in Brussels. The aim of the event was to encourage the sharing of information, knowledge and experience between leaders and experts from both the customs and business communities.
The previous MOU, signed in 1996 by WCO and ICC, began the cooperation for promoting and supporting efficiency in customs control and facilitation.
Today, the revised ICC-WCO joint working programme lists common activities in greater detail to facilitate understanding for users and to provide improved channels of communication. It covers ICC participation in WCO technical committees devoted to subjects including customs valuation, capacity building and integrity. The agreement further sets up an action plan for joint policy work with regards to mutual recognition issues and harmonization of customs procedures worldwide, as well asjoint programmes with the ICC World Chambers Federation and Business Action to Stop Counterfeiting and Piracy (BASCAP).
“One long-standing aspect of our partnership with WCO is, since the early 60s, the administration of the ATA Carnet System and more recently the Global Congress on Combating Counterfeiting and Piracy,” said ICC Secretary General Jean-Guy Carrier in his keynote speech.
“The Congress is a model for public-private partnership – and we look forward to working with WCO as Chair of the 7th Congress,” Mr Carrier said.
The ICC-WCO partnership also addresses the need to stop counterfeiting and piracy in Free Trade Zones.
“We look forward to working with WCO and national governments to strengthen Intellectual Property enforcement in Free Trade Zones, and this includes due diligence and voluntary actions on the part of business,” said Mr Carrier.
ICC is pleased to renew this cooperation agreement with the WCO and is certain that these joint initiatives for customs facilitation will benefit businesses and customs administrations alike.