World Chambers Federation

WCF puts customs chambers partnerships in the spotlight

  • 26 January 2012

The ICC World Chambers Federation (WCF) showcased its role with chambers on certificates of origin (CO) during the Origin workshop, organized by the World Customs Organization (WCO) in Brussels on 18 January.

The workshop was attended by customs representatives from almost 30 countries, and was held immediately after WCO’s 30th session of the Technical Committee on Rules of Origin, of which ICC has observer status. The meeting was chaired by Giuseppe Favale, the newly appointed WCO Director of Tariff and Trade Affairs.

The chamber workshop session reinforced the essential role chambers play daily in issuing certificates of origin. WCF delegates called on customs administrations to accept electronically issued certificates of origin.

During his opening remarks, Steve Baker, Manager of International Trade Certification at the British Chambers of Commerce, informed attendees about WCF’s efforts in establishing an international standard on issuance procedures for non-preferential certificates of origin.

WCF’s CO Task Force members – Belgium, Brazil, Croatia, Finland, France, UAE and UK – joined Mr Baker in the discussions and presentations. They presented work from their countries, including private-public partnerships for preferential certificates of origin (PCOs) and e-certificates, recognition by customs administrations and self-certification.

Christophe Coulie, Legal Adviser at the Federation of Belgian Chambers of Commerce and Industry, focused his presentation on how Belgian Chambers worked with customs and how customs agencies could deliver non-preferential COs. He added that many chambers have established excellent private-public partnerships with customs, allowing them to also deliver PCOs for customs drawing on their extensive chamber networks.

Luc Dardaud, Manager of the Trade Facilitation Department at the Paris Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and Atiq Juma Nasib, Senior Director of Commercial Services at the Dubai Chamber of Commerce, discussed the importance of COs in their respective regions and the role of chambers in the process. They urged for the recognition of e-certificates by customs administrations. Mr Nasib stressed that the practice of self-certification works against reality in a global trade environment, where exports to Least Developed Countries and the Middle East require COs issued by chambers for Customs and letter of credit clearance.

Mr Baker wrapped up the session by expanding upon the ICC WCF CO accreditation system, capitalizing the opportunity to create further awareness of ICC’s CO initiatives. He impressed upon WCO customs members that the ICC WCF CO label ensures quality delivery and assurance of accountable CO issuance.

Liu Ping – Executive Director of the Office of Rules of Origin for China’s General Administration of Customs – closed the day by thanking WCF for its continuing close collaboration on origin issues. He drew attention to all delegates present on the excellent and productive working relationship between WCO and ICC.