World Custom Organization
13th Dec, 2018
- The 80th session of Policy Commission of the World Customs Organization (WCO) meeting was hosted by the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC), India in Mumbai.
- Discussion during the meeting included trade facilitation, controlling illicit financial flow, performance measurement, challenges of small island economies, etc.
World Customs Organization (WCO)
- It is an independent intergovernmental body whose mission is to enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of Customs administrations.
- With membership of more than 180 countries, it 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.
- In 1994, the Council agreed to adopt the working name ‘World Customs Organization’ to better reflect the growth in its worldwide membership.
- It is headquartered in Brussel, Belgium
- 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. 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.
India and WCO:
- India is a member of the WCO since 1971.
- It is a part of the Asia Pacific region having 33 countries, one of 6 regions.
- India is currently vice-chair (regional head) of the Asia Pacific region of the World Customs Organisation (WCO) for a period of two years till June 2020.
Customs and CBIC:
- Customsis an authority or agency in a country responsible for collecting tariffs and for controlling the flow of goods, including animals, transports, personal, and hazardous items, into and out of a country.
- CBIC is a part of the Department of Revenue under the Ministry of Finance, Government of India.
- It is the nodal national agency responsible for administering Customs, GST, Central Excise, Service Tax & Narcotics in India.
- The Customs & Central Excise department was established in 1855 by the then British Governor General of India, to administer customs laws in India and collection of import duties / land revenue.
- It deals with the tasks of formulation of policy concerning levy and collection of Customs & Central Excise duties and Service Tax, prevention of smuggling and administration of matters relating to Customs, Central Excise, Service Tax and Narcotics to the extent under CBEC's purview.
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.