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          Customs chambers partnerships showcased at WCO Knowledge Academy

          • Brussels , 11 July 2012

          ICC WCF representatives joined business professionals from the private sector, Customs managers and administrators, border agency officials, international organization representatives and academia in Brussels to discuss the most pertinent topics that impact today’s international trading environment, including the central role of chambers in trade facilitation.

          Steve Baker, Advisor to the British Chambers of Commerce and Deputy Chair of the WCF Certificate of Origin Task Force

          Held in Brussels from 2-13 July at the World Customs Organization (WCO) headquarters, the two-week conference focuses on the development of technical skills for customs and trade practitioners.

          “This Knowledge Academy provides the ideal venue to master the challenges posed by global trade,” said WCO Secretary General Kunio Mikuriya.

          Participants broadened their knowledge, shared experiences and network during masterclasses covering topics, such as the Harmonized System 2012, the WCO Data Model, Authorized Economic Operators (AEOs) and the WCO SAFE Framework of Standards.

          During the full day of discussions on matters relating to certificates of origin, Steve Baker, Advisor to the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) and Deputy Chair of the WCF Certificate of Origin Task Force, covered the UK’s particular experience in regards to its close relationship with Customs in issuing Preferential Certificates of Origin (PCOs) and e-Certificates of Origin.

          Mr Baker said that with an increase of preferential trade agreements, chambers were extremely well placed to support Customs in issuing certificates of origin under these trade agreements. Mr Baker noted that in the UK, an agreement between customs and chambers had made it possible for UK chambers to issue PCOs and presented the agreement reached between UK Customs and BCC as an example.

          During his intervention, Steve Baker informed attendees about ICC WCF’s leadership in establishing the global standard for the issuance of certificates of origins, sharing with customs and traders present, the International CO Accreditation Chain and accompanying seal appearing on future COs issued by participating chambers. This initiative, he said, reinforced the interconnections of the global network of chambers, ensuring CO credibility and assurance for business and customs in an independent, responsible and accountable way.

          "The British Chamber of Commerce is justly proud of ICC WCF’s recognition of its Certification Procedures, which served as a foundation for the ICC CO International Guidelines published in 2006 and since translated into six languages. BCC looks forward to extending its working partnership with ICC WCF in developing this range and improving the effectiveness of chamber services worldwide," Mr Baker said.

          He also took the occasion to emphasize to customs officials the urgent need for their agencies and ministries to recognize electronic COs.

          The WCO Knowledge Academy for Customs and Trade was organized in three tracks, based on the structure of the WCO: “Track one - Tariff and Trade Affairs, which includes the Harmonized System, Customs Valuation, and Rules of Origin modules; Track two – Trade Compliance and Facilitation, which includes the WCO Data Model, AEO/SAFE, and Risk Management. Track three includes Trade Facilitation and Globally Networked Customs.

          For more information on the WCO Knowledge Academy, please see the event website

          For more information visit the WCF Accreditation Initiative

          Get a copy of the ICC WCFInternational Certificate of Origin Guidelines

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