India has become the Vice-Chair or the regional head of the Asia Pacific Region of the World Customs Organisation (WCO) for two years from July 2018 to June 2020. The WCO has divided its Membership into six regions, each of the which is represented by a regionally elected Vice-Chairperson to the WCO Council.
By becoming the Vice Chair, India will be able to take up the leadership role at the WCO. To mark the assumption of Vice Chair, an event will be organised on 16 July in Delhi by Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) in partnership with Confederation of Indian Industry (CII). The event 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 Secretary General of WCO, Kuniyo Mikuriya will deliver the key note address, while Heads of Customs from Japan and Fiji, and senior officials from Korea, Singapore, China among others, will also participate in the ceremony. The event will be based on the theme - 'Customs – Fostering Trade Facilitation'
The ceremony will be followed by a seminar on Cross-Border Trade through e-commerce and the role of Customs administration. The seminar would 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.
WCO represents 182 Customs administrations across the globe that collectively process approximately 98 per cent of world trade. As the global centre of Customs expertise, the WCO is the only international organization with competence in Customs matters and can rightly call itself the voice of the international Customs community.