Customs Commissioner to attend World Customs Organization Council Meeting

22 Jun 2005

The Commissioner of Customs and Excise, Mr Timothy Tong, is leading a three-member delegation to attend the 105th/106th plenary sessions of the World Customs Organization (WCO) in Brussels tomorrow (June 23).

During this annual conference to be held between June 23 and 25, the heads of Customs administrations from 166 WCO Members worldwide will consider, among other issues, the adoption of the "Framework of Standards to Secure and Facilitate Global Trade" (FoS) developed by the WCO's High Level Strategic Group.

The FoS represents the collective effort of the world customs community. It sets out the core principles and international standards for Customs administrations to protect the international trade supply chain from terrorist threats. With the implementation of the FoS, the Customs administrations will strive to secure the supply chain and facilitate legitimate trade.

Hong Kong Customs supports the principles and core values of the FoS. The Department will conduct a thorough study of the Framework to identify its benefits to international trade, as well as its practical implications to Customs operations.

Mr Tong said, "Security and facilitation are two sides of the same coin. As an international trade hub, Hong Kong must maintain effective control against trade-related offences through Customs-to-Customs cooperation, whilst fostering Customs-to-Business partnerships to ensure seamless movements of goods through secure international supply chain." The WCO, an independent and inter-governmental body, aims to promote the uniformity of Customs systems and enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of Customs administrations.

Ends/Wednesday, June 22, 2005

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