Pannel during WCO Forum

WCO organizes first forum on E-Commerce and Customs Valuation

On 15 February 2023, the World Customs Organization (WCO) held the first symposium on E‑Commerce and Customs Valuation. During the hybrid event, international organizations, Customs administration, and the private sector discussed the challenges in calculating Customs Value for E‑Commerce.

In his opening speech, Dr. Kunio Mikuriya, the Secretary General of the WCO, recognized the that “E-Commerce brings enormous opportunities for economic and social development by fostering innovation, introducing new trade models, creating job opportunities and leading new consumer trends”.  He also underlined the challenges associated with E-Commerce and called for a concerted effort on the part of the Customs community and their partners for tangible solutions to those challenges.

In her address, Ms. Suja Rishikesh Mavrodis, Director of the Market Access Division at the World Trade Organization (WTO), highlighted various initiatives related to E-Commerce, including potential ways to enhance cross-fertilization and learning through the trade facilitation and valuation committees, in conjunction with the WCO.

The WCO delivered presentations on the impact of E-Commerce on Customs valuation, the challenges from compliance perspective and the initiatives taken by the Secretariat in this regard, such as the WCO Framework of Standards on Cross-Border E-Commerce. The  speakers from the European Union Commission, the United States’ CBP and Indian Customs shared related Customs best practices. They highlighted their experience on addressing the issues and ensuring the flow of E‑Commerce while still implementing the appropriate Customs controls and revenue collection.

The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), DHL and Amazon, shared the private sector’s perspective on how they saw the current situation.  Among issues raised by the private sector, they drew attention to the issues of goods moving across borders prior to a sale taking place, the diffused nature of the trading environment, and the need for common standards for Customs administrations on the exchange of data and valuation assessment.

The participants agreed to the importance of working together and sharing knowledge and best practices to find innovative solutions to the many challenges brought about by E-Commerce.

The Symposium attracted more participants than expected and as many could not join the live event, the presentations have been published on the page of the event.

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