The Secretary-General of UNCTAD, Rebeca Grynspan, and the Secretary General of the WCO, Kunio Mikuriya show the updated and signed Memorandum of Understanding

WCO and UNCTAD sign MoU to strengthen their cooperation and enhance digitalization, trade facilitation and Customs control

The World Customs Organization (WCO) and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to update the MoU between the two organizations dating back to 2013.

The Secretary-General of UNCTAD, Rebeca Grynspan, and the Secretary General of the WCO, Kunio Mikuriya signed the MoU, which marks an important step towards deepening the long-standing cooperation between the two organizations.

The MoU aims to support Customs modernization by enabling interoperability between the UNCTAD’s Automated System for Customs Data (ASYCUDA) and the WCO Cargo Targeting System (CTS), National Customs Enforcement Network (nCeN) and Time Release Study (TRS). UNCTAD and the WCO are committed to enhancing Customs’ capability in managing risks by utilizing information and technology while streamlining and simplifying data collection and eliminating redundancies.

UNCTAD and the WCO agreed to collaborate further to accelerate harmonized supply chain digitalization through the implementation of international standards for data exchange, such as the WCO Data Model. In addition to increasing data quality and accuracy, the initiative aims to enhance trade facilitation by providing consistency and predictability related to cross-border data requirements.

In line with the WCO’s Data Strategy, the revised MoU lays the foundation for the two organizations to embrace a data culture and build data ecosystems by using Customs statistics. Under this initiative, UNCTAD and the WCO will develop a harmonized methodology for statistics data collection / sharing.

“The revised Memorandum of Understanding is a robust foundation towards closer cooperation with the UNCTAD in implementing our data strategy as well as supporting supply chain digitalization, trade facilitation and effective Customs control. Customs has long led border modernization, and this new partnership is expected to enhance this potential further and bring it onto a new level,” stated Secretary General Mikuriya.

UNCTAD Secretary-General, Ms Rebeca Grynspan, noted that this MoU would ensure that ASYCUDA systems are fully compliant with the international instruments and standards developed by the WCO. The collaboration between the two organizations would be instrumental in the successful delivery of respective goals and activities.

The WCO represents 184 Customs administrations across the globe that collectively process approximately 98% of world trade. It is the only international organization competent in Customs matters and its mission is to enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of Customs administrations.

UNCTAD is the UN’s leading institution dealing with trade and development. It is a permanent intergovernmental body established by the United Nations General Assembly in 1964. UNCTAD is part of the UN Secretariat and has a membership of 195 countries, one of the largest in the UN system. UNCTAD supports developing countries to access the benefits of a globalized economy more fairly and effectively.

Members of UNCTAD and the WCO talking in a meeting room

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