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17 June 2024, 02:17 AM

BOC Advances Customs Administration and Cooperation in Asia/Pacific Region at 24th WCO Conference

June 13, 2023

In its commitment to international customs cooperation and collaboration, the Bureau of Customs (BOC) actively participated in the recently concluded 24th World Customs Organization (WCO) Asia/Pacific Regional Heads of Customs Administrations (RHCA) Conference held from 28-31 May 2023 in Perth, Australia.

Commissioner Bienvenido Y. Rubio led the Philippine delegation, which included Collector Rechilda Oquias, Chief of the BOC External Affairs Office and Ms. Denise Asantor from the Office of the Commissioner. Together, they represented the BOC and engaged in crucial discussions on various customs administration matters.

Hosted by the Australian Border Force (ABF) Commissioner and Comptroller-General of Customs, Michael Outram APM, the 24th RHCA Conference brought together customs administrations from 22 Asia/Pacific Members. The conference served as an important platform for sharing knowledge, best practices, and discussing initiatives to enhance regional customs capabilities.

Commissioner Rubio and his team actively participated in conference sessions, contributing to discussions on governance matters and presenting significant initiatives led by the BOC. Their involvement underscored the Philippine government’s commitment to fostering cooperation and advancing the customs agenda in the Asia/Pacific Region.

Throughout the conference, delegates had the opportunity to engage with esteemed guests, including WCO Secretary General, Dr. Kunio Mikuriya, and Assistant Secretary Kimberlee Stamatis from the Asia/Pacific Regional Vice-Chair Secretariat. The conference agenda covered a wide range of topics, such as supply chain security, Customs-industry collaboration, and the establishment of WCO-accredited Regional Dog Training Centers.

Moreover, the Philippine delegation had the privilege of witnessing campaign presentations from the candidates vying for the post of WCO Secretary General from 2024 to 2029. The presence of Mr. Ian Saunders from the United States and Mr. Philippe Kokou Tchodie from the Togolese Republic added anticipation and excitement to the conference, highlighting the significance of future leadership within the WCO.

A special industry guest speaker, the National Risk Manager from the Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC), shared valuable insights on the company’s involvement in the successful 2022 WCO Operation TIN CAN. Emphasizing the importance of supply chain security and collaboration between customs administrations and the private sector, the speaker further emphasized the need for cooperation.

The conference witnessed the signing of two important WCO instruments. Japan and the WCO signed a Memorandum of Cooperation, solidifying their commitment to host the Regional Intelligence Liaison Office (RILO A/P) from 2024 to 2028. Additionally, Australia and the WCO formalized a funding agreement for the WCO Global Supply Chain Integrity Project, with Australia serving as the delivery partner.

Commissioner expressed his gratitude for the opportunity to participate in the 24th RHCA Conference and reaffirmed the Bureau of Customs’ dedication to advancing customs administration and cooperation in the Asia/Pacific Region. He emphasized the importance of collaboration among customs administrations in addressing emerging challenges and promoting trade facilitation.

Looking ahead, the Bureau of Customs is eager to implement the insights gained and leverage the outcomes of the 24th RHCA Conference to strengthen customs operations in the Philippines. By doing so, they aim to contribute to the growth, security, and prosperity of the Asia/Pacific Region.#

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