The WCO Private Sector Consultative Group, commonly referred to as the PSCG, was established in 2005 to assist with the development and implementation of the SAFE Framework of Standards to Secure and Facilitate Global Trade. Under the leadership of WCO Secretary General Kunio Mikuriya the WCO has moved into a new broader phase of customs-business cooperation-with the PSCG set to play a central role in this process.
The TFA and business engagement
Fresh impetus has been given to the customs-business relationship following the adoption of the World Trade Organization’s landmark Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA).
For example, the WCO’s new Customs-Business Partnership Guidance offers step-by-step guidance for developing a robust and sustainable engagement mechanism between customs authorities and the private sector. ICC was pleased to contribute to the development of this guidance and has emphasized the importance of government-business collaboration to maximize the benefits of the TFA.
I look forward to working with the members to ensure that the WCO benefits from the technical expertise and guidance of the private sector.
The “new” PSCG
The newly constituted PSCG had its first meeting earlier this month at the WCO’s headquarters in Brussels.
Following this first session, PSCG members elected John Mein of Procomex – an alliance to modernize Brazil’s foreign trade through projects that unite private and public initiatives – as the new Chairman of the PSCG. ICC’s Head of Customs and Trade Facilitation, Donia Hammami was elected as the PSCG Vice-Chair.
Ms Hammami said: “I am delighted and honored that the PSCG members have appointed me as their vice-chair. I look forward to working with the members to ensure that the WCO benefits from the technical expertise and guidance of the private sector. Maximizing the potential gains of the TFA – estimated this week by the WTO at a possible US$3.6 trillion – will necessitate collaborative working to ensure that reforms are tailored to evolving business models and global value chains.”
ICC Secretary General John Danilovich added: “ICC is the longest standing partner of the WCO in the context of customs-business cooperation. It’s imperative for cross-border trade and economic growth that customs and business work closely together: we’re natural allies for trade facilitation and for border procedures that support inclusive growth.”
About the PSCG
Reflecting the WCO’s push to forge a stronger partnership with the private sector, the Terms of Reference for the PSCG were updated and the Group reconstituted with a membership of 21 companies and associations that cover all regions of the world and a wide range of sectors of industry. The new PSCG includes companies such as SABMiller, TATA, Microsoft, De la Rue, Fonterra, Caterpillar, and international and national associations such as the International Road Transport Union, the East African Business Council, and the Business Alliance for Secure Commerce.
Donia Hammami joined ICC in 2013 after working for the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Ms Hammami leads ICC’s work on customs and trade facilitation and coordinates the ICC Commission on Customs and Trade Facilitation composed of over 250 members from 50 countries.
Learn more about the work of the ICC Commission on Customs and Trade Facilitation here.
The WCO Customs-Business Partnership Guidance is available here.