Guangdong/HKSAR Customs annual review meeting

21 May 2004

The Commissioner of Customs and Excise, Mr Timothy Tong, led a 12-member delegation to attend a two-day Annual Review Meeting (ARM) between HKSAR Customs and Excise Department and the Guangdong Sub-Administration of the Customs General Administration in Jiangmen from yesterday (May 20).

The Guangdong Sub-Administration delegation is led by the Director General, Mr Sun Songpu.

During the ARM, both parties reviewed the attainments of mutual co-operation in the past year, and mapped out the plan for co-operation in the year ahead.

To synchronise with the economic development of the two regions, both parties agreed to expand the scope of co-operation, liaise more on customs clearance matters, and explore further on ways to speed up and simplify cross-boundary customs clearance.

Both delegations expressed satisfaction over their law enforcement achievements. Despite this, they believed there was still room for mutual co-operation. For instances, both parties agreed to reinforce their intelligence exchange, and to strategically plan and conduct parallel operations to, among other things, crack down on drug-trafficking activities, and smuggling activities using the modus operandi of "ants moving home" (that is, smuggling small quantity of goods at a time) and high-value goods smuggling.

Commissioner Tong took the opportunity to introduce to the Guangdong Sub-Administration delegation his proposal of Customs Administrations in the Asia Pacific Region joining forces to clamp down on trans-national smuggling syndicates raised in the 10th World Customs Organisation (WCO) Asia Pacific Heads of Customs Administration Conference. HKSAR Customs recommended that all the operational contact points of the Member Administrations should fully utilise their existing channels to reinforce their exchange of intelligence and conduct joint operations.

Guangdong Sub-Administration of the Customs General Administration expressed its earnest support to HKSAR Customs' plan to host the first WCO Asia Pacific Regions' Anti-Illicit Cigarette Contact Points Meeting in Hong Kong in June.

In addition, both sides reached consensus on the plan of mutual co-operation in the coming year, including training programmes.

Before attending the ARM, Commissioner Tong paid a visit to Yunnan between May 16 and 19. Accompanied by representatives of the Guangdong Sub-Administration, Commissioner Tong visited the Yunnan Customs to learn about its daily operations, and to exchange views and share experiences on the strategies to crack down on drug-trafficking activities.

Ends/Friday, May 21, 2004

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