International Convention on the Simplification and Harmonization of Customs Procedures

What is the Revised Kyoto Convention?

The Revised Kyoto Convention is widely regarded as the blueprint for modern and efficient Customs procedures in the 21st century. If implemented, it will provide international commerce with predictability and efficiency required by modern trade. The Revised Kyoto Convention elaborated on key governing principles, chief of which are:

  • Transparency and predictability of Customs actions
  • Standardization and simplification of the goods declaration and supporting documents
  • Simplified procedures for authorized persons
  • Maximum use of information technology
  • Minimum necessary Customs control to ensure compliance with regulations
  • Use of risk management and audit-based controls
  • Coordinated interventions with other border agencies
  • Partnership with the trade

Incidentally, the RKC was ratified by former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in March 16, 2009 and the Senate concurred through Resolution No. 220 in February 1, 2010.
What is the current status of the Philippine membership to the Revised Kyoto Convention?

As of June 2010, there are 71 contracting parties to RKC out of the 179 members of the World Customs Organization. Philippines is the 70th and Kenya was the 71st.

The Philippine Customs deposited the Instrument of Accession of the Philippine government to the RKC at the World Customs Organization Headquarters in Brussels, Belgium last June 25, 2010.

Ten out of 21 member countries of the Asian-Pacific Economic Cooperation are signatories, namely, Australia, Canada, China, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, United States of America, Vietnam, and the Philippines. However, all APEC and Association of Southeast Asian Nation countries have agreed to simplify and harmonize their respective customs procedures with the RKC.
Is the Revised Kyoto Convention adapted to the needs of developing countries?

Simplifying the procedures to move goods across borders will reduce administrative barriers, thereby encouraging small and medium-sized enterprises to become involved in international trade and attracting foreign investment. This leads to greater economic development.

Will implementation of the Revised Kyoto Convention allow Customs to maintain controls while focusing on trade facilitation?

The principles in the Revised Kyoto Convention promote trade facilitation, but also ensure that the statutory functions of the Customs are not compromised. Cross-border movement of goods is the key element in any international trade transaction and Customs presence is an essential and statutory feature for the movement of such goods.

The manner in which Customs provide for swift and efficient clearance of these goods reflects the quality of service provided by the government to the public.

The Revised Kyoto Convention provides a comprehensive set of uniform principles for simple, effective and predictable Customs procedures with effective Customs control. It, thus, responds to the key needs of both modern day Customs administrations and the demands of the international trade by providing a balance between the Customs functions of control and revenue collection and that of trade facilitation.