India becomes vice chair of Asia Pacific Region of World Customs Organisation

India has become the vice chair (regional head) of the Asia Pacific region of World Customs Organisation (WCO) for a period of two years, from July 2018 to June 2020. The Asia Pacific region forms one of the six divisions of the WCO, each of which is represented by a regionally elected vice-chairperson to the WCO Council.

To mark India’s assumption of vice chair, the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) has organised an event in New Delhi on Monday. The even organised in partnership with the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), will be attended by the customs delegations of 33 countries of the Asia-Pacific region, customs officers from different ports in India, partner government agencies and representatives from the trade among others.
The vice chairmanship of the AP region of WCO will enable India, with its wealth of experience in promoting security and facilitation of cross border trade, assume a leadership role.
The secretary general of WCO, Kuniyo Mikuriya, will deliver the keynote address, while heads of customs from Japan and Fiji, and senior officials from Korea, Singapore, China among others, will participate in the function.
The underlying theme of the inaugural ceremony is 'Customs – Fostering Trade Facilitation.'
There will also be a seminar on Cross Border Trade through e-commerce and the role of customs administration. The seminar will focus on the framework of standards spearheaded by WCO to cope with the exponential growth in e-commerce shipments and the tsunami of parcels that cross borders every day.
Recognising that e-commerce has become a game changer in international trade, bringing in efficiency of clearance and delivery of low value and high volume shipments has become a matter of critical interest for every customs administration.
WCO represents 182 customs administrations across the globe that collectively process approximately 98 per cent of world trade.