OCO attended the annual WCO Council in Brussels on 6-8 July 2017
The Head of Secretariat Mr Seve Paeniu represented the OCO, as an Observer organization, at the annual WCO Council which met in Brussels, Belgium on 6 – 8 July 2017. The Council session is the annual governance meeting in which over 180 heads of customs administrations representing the members of the World Customs Organization (WCO).
The discussions at the WCO Council focused on a number of key customs issues, including on trade facilitation, Mercator, WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement, security initiatives, combating illicit financial flows, and customs-tax cooperation with a particular focus on the challenges and opportunities from a customs perspective.
Mr Paeniu also used the opportunity to conduct bilateral meetings with the WCO Secretary General and his Directors and senior program staff on various areas of mutual cooperation and partnerships the OCO is already working on with the support of WCO. These included the work on advancing the Pacific Tariff Framework and implementing the Harmonized System 2017; and utilizing various WCO instruments and tools such as the Mercator Program to implement trade facilitation measures whilst at the same time developing WCO-accredited expertise for the Pacific region.
Opportunity was also taken by Mr Paeniu to meet with and brief the ACP Secretariat and the Pacific ACP Ambassadors on the work of the OCO in the Pacific.
There are currently 8 members of the OCO who are full members of the WCO: Australia, Fiji, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Timor Leste, Tonga and Vanuatu.