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80th Session of Policy Commission of World Customs Organization

to commence in Mumbai on December 3, 2018

The 80th Session of the Policy Commission of the World Customs Organization (WCO) meeting is being organized by the WCO and hosted by the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC), India in Mumbai during December 3 – 5, 2018.

The Secretary General of WCO, Mr. Kunio Mikuriya along with other top officials of WCO and customs heads from more than 30 countries along with their delegations will be participating in the three day long discussion on various matters related to customs.

In the opening session on 3rd December, the Union Finance Minister will address the gathering though Video conference. The Revenue Secretary, Shri A.B. Pandey will also be present to give the opening remarks.

The Indian delegation will be headed by Chairman, CBIC, Shri S. Ramesh, along with Member (Customs), Shri P K Das and their team of senior officers.

Some of the important topics to be discussed during the meeting include trade facilitation, controlling illicit financial flow, performance measurement, challenges of small island economies, etc. Hosting of the Policy Commission session will give global presence and leadership role to the country in the area of customs procedures and will also give a boost to India’s thrust in facilitating trade.

WCO, having membership of more than 180 countries, is the only global organization which defines global standards and procedures for customs clearances at the border and their implementation.

It was established in 1952 as the Customs Co-operation Council (CCC) and is an independent intergovernmental body whose mission is to enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of Customs administrations. India is a member of the WCO since 1971 and has been participating actively in its various activities.

It is a part of the Asia Pacific region having 33 countries, one of 6 regions. From 1st July this year, India has taken over as the Vice-Chair of the Asia Pacific region for two years.

The supreme body is the Council of WCO and its Council Session is held annually at Brussels which is attended by the Heads of Customs/Directors General of all the member administrations.

The second highest body is the Policy Commission, which meets twice a year, once at the WCO headquarters at Brussels just before the Council Session and once in December, hosted by a member administration.

The work being done by various Committees, Working Groups and Directorates in WCO is monitored and approved by the Policy Commission, which comprises countries from the six regions of WCO, which are nominated for two years.

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