From 12 to 15 January 2021, the World Customs Organization (WCO) delivered an Online Regional Workshop on E-Commerce for the Asia/Pacific region. The workshop was organised with the support of the Regional Office for Capacity Building (ROCB) for the Asia/Pacific region and gathered together more than 70 participants from 25 Member Customs administrations and speakers from the WCO Secretariat, the Universal Postal Union, the Global Express Association, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the Oceania Customs Organisation, Alibaba, JD International and Malaysia Airports Holding Berhad.
Over the four days of the regional workshop, the workshop facilitators explained the 15 standards of the WCO Framework of Standards on Cross-Border E-Commerce (E-Commerce FoS) and the tools available to support their implementation. Each workshop session benefitted from presentations by Members and by partner international organizations. Thus, the workshop sessions provided practical examples of the E-Commerce FoS implementation in the areas of use of Electronic Advance Data, data exchange with postal operators, revenue collection including valuation issues, cooperation with stakeholders such as marketplaces and fulfilment centers, expanding the concept of Authorized Economic Operator (AEO) to e-commerce stakeholders, and the use of advanced technologies. Moreover, the sessions were seen by participants and speakers alike as an opportunity to openly discuss challenges, possible solutions and best practices.
Effective and harmonised implementation of the E-Commerce FoS is even more important in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, said the WCO Director for Compliance and Facilitation in his opening remarks. As a result of COVID-19, customers have become more reliant on E-Commerce, which has resulted in further increases in volumes – a trend that is expected to continue even after the pandemic, he added.
The participants from Member Customs administrations welcomed the opportunity to discuss how to efficiently implement the E-Commerce FoS, while the speakers from partner international organizations and the private sector were glad to contribute to this important forum.