WCO addresses Working Party on Customs Union under Romanias EU Council Presidency
At the invitation of the Romanian Presidency of the Council of the European Union (EU), WCO Secretary General Kunio Mikuriya attended the meeting of the EU’s Working Party on Customs Union, held on 8 January 2019 in Brussels, to describe the WCO’s outlook for 2019.
Romania shared its priorities, including support for multilateralism in global trade and a safer Europe.
After congratulating Romania on taking up the EU Council Presidency, Dr. Mikuriya went on to outline the WCO’s ongoing strategic planning for the coming three years, incorporating the priorities of Members identified at a series of regional consultations. He provided insights into the WCO’s work plans for the near future and elaborated on the Organization’s theme for 2019: SMART Borders for Seamless Trade, Travel and Transport.
Mr. Stephen Quest, Director General of the European Commission’s Taxation and Customs Union Directorate (DG TAXUD), also outlined the main issues to be addressed by the EU in the coming year together with its priorities. Challenges raised included performance measurement and exchange of information. All the speakers agreed that there was broad convergence on the priorities presented by the Romanian Presidency, the WCO and DG TAXUD and reiterated their willingness to maintain close cooperation.
Secretary General Mikuriya concluded by thanking the Romanian Presidency for the opportunity to address the Customs Union Group, in what had now become a feature of the Group’s first meeting every year.