WCO promotes the E-Commerce Framework of Standards implementation in the Americas and the Caribbean region

From 12 to 15 April 2021, the World Customs Organization (WCO) delivered an Online Regional Workshop on E-Commerce for the Americas and the Caribbean region. The workshop was organised with the financial support of the Customs Cooperation Fund of Korea and gathered more than 70 participants from 20 Member Customs administrations and speakers from the WCO Secretariat, the South America Regional Intelligence Liaison Office (RILO South America), the Universal Postal Union, the Global Express Association, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, Amazon and UPS Brazil.

The COVID-19 pandemic demonstrated the importance of effective and harmonised implementation of the E-Commerce FoS, said the WCO Deputy Secretary General, Mr. Ricardo Treviño Chapa, in his opening remarks. In addition to role played by e-commerce during the last decade, in providing new growth engines and in opening up global economic opportunities to micro, small and medium-sized enterprises, e-commerce proved to be a lifeline for vendors and buyers alike during the crisis brought by the COVID-19 pandemic, he added.

Opening remarks were also offered by the regional vice-chair for the WCO Americas and the Caribbean region, Mr. Werner Ovalle Ramirez, Intendant of Customs, Superintendency of Tax Administration (SAT) of Guatemala, who highlighted the importance of cross-border e-commerce for the economic development of the region and recognized the key role of the WCO in awareness raising and capacity building.

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, partner international organizations and private sector entities. Thus, the workshop sessions provided practical examples of E-Commerce FoS implementation in areas such as use of Electronic Advance Data, data exchange with postal operators, and revenue collection including valuation, Post Clearance Audit and periodical payment issues. Other interesting topics discussed were cooperation with stakeholders such as marketplaces, fulfilment centers and free zones/warehouses, expanding the concept of Authorized Economic Operator (AEO) to e-commerce stakeholders, and the use of advanced technologies.

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.

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