- Eighth ASEM Customs DGs/Commissioners meeting - Heraklion, Greece, 15-16 October 2009
- Customs 2013 High-level Seminar on Future of Electronic Customs - Prague, 26-27 March 2009
- Seminar on EU and ASEAN Customs and Trade Facilitation Cooperation - Kuala Lumpur, 2-3 March 2009
The 8th Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) Customs Directors General (DGs)/Commissioners Meeting took place on 15-16 October 2009 in Heraklion, Greece.
The Greek Customs Director General, Nikolaos Vernadakis opened the meeting, which had to agree on priorities for the next two years and provide guidance to the ASEM Working Group on Customs Matters (AWC).
ASEM Directors General agreed on concrete actions in the areas of "Trade facilitation and Supply Chain Security", "Combating counterfeiting", "Role of Customs in protecting the environment" and "Involving Business". They also appointed respective co-ordinators on the Asian and European side. The meeting further adopted the ASEM Trade Facilitation Action Plan on Customs Matters (TFAP) for 2010-2012 and issued the Heraklion Declaration as a joint statement.
The Czech Customs Administration in close co-operation with the European Commission organised a High-level Seminar on the Future of Electronic Customs. That major event took place in Prague on 26 - 27 March 2009 under the Customs 2013 Programme, and it allowed EU Member States and the Commission to take an important step forward in planning the future approach towards electronic customs.
The seminar addressed major subjects concerning the mid and long-term development of the electronic customs initiative with the aim to enhance the effectiveness of customs and reduce costs for business.
It brought together Member States of the EU, Candidate Countries, Norway, Switzerland, Serbia and the European Commission. The seminar gave participants a unique opportunity to discuss a number of strategic issues concerning electronic customs at senior as well as technical levels and opened the debate on several questions as regards the future vision for electronic customs, including the corresponding procedural and technical aspects.
The seminar was conducted in the form of plenary sessions with presentations (made by UNECE, the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe, representatives of Czech business and Czech Customs, and the European Commission). Those were followed by detailed discussions in 3 working groups focused on policy issues, IT aspects and procedural matters.
Taking account of the outcomes of the seminar's working group discussions, Member States and the Commission adopted a Prague Declaration and agreed on a number of key recommendations that will be taken into consideration for the further development of the electronic customs initiative for 2013 and beyond.
The key strategic conclusions and recommendations reached at the seminar (See final report ) will be elaborated further at respective fora, particularly in the framework of the Customs Policy Group and Electronic Customs Group.
The fourth seminar of the 2008-2009 TREATI Seminar Series will be held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on 2-3 March 2009. The seminar, organised by the European Commission's Directorates-General for Trade and for Taxation and Customs Union in cooperation with the Malaysia Ministry of International Trade and Industry, will focus on customs and trade facilitation and host high-ranking officials from all ten ASEAN member countries, as well as representatives from the business sector.
Business and industry leaders, EC and ASEAN government officials will present the state of the art on customs and trade facilitation measures and legislative developments in both EU and ASEAN, as well as case studies and experience by the private sector, in the wider context of cooperation between the two regions.
The aim of the seminar series is to foster dialogue and discussion between key partners and stakeholders in the EU and ASEAN in a context of progressive integration and liberalisation between the two regions. The TREATI initiative, established in 2003, grew out of the New Partnership with Southeast Asia and aims to address non-tariff trade barriers and facilitation measures, and provide a flexible framework in which partners can share experiences and information on subjects of mutual interest.
Among the speakers featured at the seminar will be senior EU and ASEAN Officials, representatives from the World Customs Organisation, private sector multinational logistic operators and legal specialists.
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