World Customs Organisation (WCO)

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  • Published
    17th May, 2019


  • Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) recently organised a meeting of the Regional Heads of Customs Administration of Asia Pacific Region of the World Customs Organisation (WCO) in Kochi from 08th to 10th May.
  • India is hosting this meeting in its capacity as Vice Chairperson of the Asia Pacific region that it assumed in July, 2018 for a two-year period.


Objectives of the meeting:

  • To take stock of the progress being made in carrying forward the programmes and initiatives of WCO to promote, facilitate and secure the cross-border trade in the region and the capacity building and technical assistance required to achieve this goal.
  • To ensure greater communication and connectivity within the region, harness technology advancements, inclusive approach, and consensus on core issues.
  • Implementation of trade facilitation measures, cross-border e-commerce transactions, building capacity of small island economies and the review of the Revised Kyoto Convention (RKC).

World Customs Organization (WCO):

  • It is an intergovernmental organization founded in 1952, headquartered in Brussels, Belgium.
  • It works in areas covering the development of international conventions on commodity classification, valuation, rules of origin, collection of customs revenue, supply chain security, international trade facilitation, customs enforcement activities, combating counterfeiting in support of Intellectual Property Rights (IPR), drugs enforcement and illegal weapons trading.

How it came into being?

  • In 1950, a Convention establishing the Customs Co-operation Council (CCC) was signed in Brussels. In 1953, the CCC’s inaugural session took place with the participation of 17 founding members. CCC membership subsequently expanded to cover all regions of the globe.
  • In 1994, the organization adopted its current name, the World Customs Organization. Today, WCO members are responsible for customs controls in 182 countries representing more than 98 per cent of all international trade.

Objective of WCO:

  • Its objective is to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of member customs administrations, thereby assisting them to contribute successfully to national development goals, particularly revenue collection, national security, trade facilitation, community protection, and collection of trade statistics.

Instruments adopted by WCO:

  • International Convention on the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System (HS Convention)
  • International Convention on the Simplification and Harmonization of Customs procedures (revised Kyoto Convention or RKC)
  • ATA Convention and the Convention on Temporary Admission (Istanbul Convention)
  • Arusha Declaration on Customs Integrity
  • SAFE Framework of Standards to Secure and Facilitate Global Trade
  • Columbus Program.

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