Policy Commission Meeting Current Affairs - 2019
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The 80th Session of Policy Commission of World Customs Organization (WCO) was held Mumbai, capital of Maharashtra. It is being organized by WCO and hosted by Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC), under Union Finance Minister.
Secretary General, WCO, other top officials and customs heads from more than 30 countries had participated in this conference for discussion on various matters related to customs. Key discussion were on issues related trade facilitation, controlling illicit financial flow, performance measurement, challenges of small island economies. Hosting of Policy Commission session will give global presence and leadership role to India in area of customs procedures. It will also give a boost to India’s thrust in facilitating trade.
World Customs Organisation (WCO)
It is independent intergovernmental body whose mission is to enhance effectiveness and efficiency of Customs administrations. It was established in 1952 as Customs Co-operation Council (CCC). It is headquartered in Brussels, Belgium. More than 180 countries are its members including India.
It is the only international organization with competence in Customs matters and defines global standards and procedures for customs clearances at border and their implementation. It is considered as voice of international Customs community.
It aims to enhance efficiency and effectiveness of member customs administrations and assist them to contribute successfully to national development goals, particularly revenue collection, national security, trade facilitation, community protection, and collection of trade statistics.
India is member of WCO since 1971 and has been participating actively in its various activities. It is part of Asia Pacific region having 33 countries, one of 6 regions. From 1st July 2018, India has taken over as the Vice-Chair of the Asia Pacific region for two years.
WCO’s governing body – is Council which relies on competence and skills of WCO Secretariat and range of technical and advisory committees to accomplish its mission. Secretariat comprises over 100 international officials, technical experts and support staff of some nationalities. WCO has divided its membership into six regions whereby each region is represented by elected vice-chairperson to WCO Council.
- It offers range of Conventions and other international instruments, as well as technical assistance and training services to its members.
- It also actively supports its members in their endeavours to modernize and build capacity within their national Customs administrations.
- It also plays vital role in stimulating growth of legitimate international trade and combats fraudulent activities.
- It also promotes emergence of honest, transparent and predictable Customs environment, thus directly contributing to economic and social well-being of its members.