WCO Customs administrations from Southeast Asia exchange information on challenges and good practices in cross-border e-commerce

Customs administrations from Southeast Asia exchange information on challenges and good practices in cross-border e-commerce

A Sub-regional Workshop on cross-border e-commerce for Members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) was delivered from 8 to 11 May 2023 at the Sabah branch of the WCO Regional Training Centre (RTC) in Malaysia with the support of the Regional Office for Capacity Building for the Asia-Pacific region (ROCB A/P). The objectives of the Workshop were to raise awareness of the WCO tools and initiatives aimed at facilitating and securing cross-border e-commerce and to discuss challenges and possible solutions in this area.

The event was organized with the financial support of the Customs Cooperation Fund of Japan (CCF Japan) and benefitted from the participation of 13 Customs officials from eight ASEAN Members.

Throughout the event, the Workshop facilitators provided detailed explanations of the 16 standards of the WCO Framework of Standards on Cross-Border E-Commerce and the tools available to support their implementation. In addition, the Workshop agenda included discussions on the WCO Immediate Release Guidelines and the tools developed jointly with the UPU, such as the WCO-UPU Postal Customs Guide and the WCO-UPU Guidelines on the exchange of electronic advance data between designated operators and Customs administrations.

The beneficiary Members delivered presentations focusing on the legislative and procedural aspects of handling shipments imported through postal and express courier services. Presentations were delivered also by the Universal Postal Union, the WCO Regional Intelligence Liaison Office for the Asia-Pacific region (RILO A/P), the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and DHL. These presentations were the basis for lively discussions and valuable exchanges of information on challenges and good practices.

“While we face similar challenges, each of our administrations has strengths and weaknesses with regard to the solutions we apply to address these challenges. Through the workshop we were able to learn from each other and gain knowledge that will support us in improving the legislation and procedures of our countries” said one of the participants at the end of the workshop.

In her closing remarks the Director of the Royal Malaysian Customs Academy (AKMAL), Raizam Binti Setapa Mustapha encouraged the participants to share the knowledge gained and lessons learnt during the workshop within their administrations and confirmed the readiness of the WCO RTC in Malaysia to host similar events in the future.

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