The 29th edition of the Regional Contact Points(RCP) meeting of the Asia Pacific(A/P) region of the World Customs Organisation(WCO) was held in Puducherry from November 18-20, 2019. The meeting was organised by Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) of India.The meeting was inaugurated and chaired by Shri Raj Kumar Barthwal, Member (Customs) CBIC.Aim: The aim of the meeting is to address regional development and to discuss on various issues related to cross border trade procedures. It also aims to enhance communication and experience sharing between the member countries of the WCO.
i.India is the member as A/P region of WCO and also the vice chair since 2018.
ii.4 strategic guiding principles: 4 strategic guiding principles were highlighted during the meeting by Shri Raj Kumar. They were greater communication and connectivity within the region, harnessing technology advancements, using inclusive approach and consensus on core issues.
iii.Key focus areas: The key focus areas were emphasised during the meeting. They were performance measurement, security and enforcement, inter-agency cooperation for trade facilitation, small island economies, border clearances for cruise ships etc.
iv.2018 RCP meeting: The last RCP meeting was held in Jaipur, Rajasthan in 2018.
v.Participants: Customs delegations from more than 25 countries of the A/P region, the representatives of regional bodies of the WCO; the Regional Office for Capacity Building (ROCB), and the Regional Intelligence Liaison Office (RILO) participated in the meeting.
vi.Members present: Shri Ajit Kumar,Chief Commissionerof the Chennai Customs Zone(CCZ) & Shri Satya Srinivas, Joint Secretary of Customs, CBIC were present during the meeting.
Fact- WCO is the only inter-governmental international organisation which is engaged in setting up and implementing principles and standards for cross border procedures and Customs.
Founded- 26 January 1952.
Headquarters- Brussels, Belgium.
Secretary General- Dr. Kunio Mikuriya
Regions- 6 regions: they are North Africa, Near and Middle East; West and Central Africa; East and Southern Africa (Somalia and South Sudan joined in 2012); South America, North America, Central America and Caribbean; Europe; Far East, South and South-East Asia, Australasia and Pacific islands.