From 20-28 June 2023, the World Customs Organization (WCO) successfully conducted a follow-up workshop on Post Clearance Audit (PCA) for the Tax and Customs Administration of Colombia (DIAN). Held within the framework of the SECO-WCO Global Trade Facilitation Programme (GTFP), the workshop aimed to review the final draft of the PCA Strategy, pilot the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), and bolster DIAN's capabilities in compliance with the WCO PCA guidelines.
The workshop, which took place in Bogota, brought together WCO experts and representatives from the DIAN PCA Unit, to evaluate and refine the PCA Scheme of Colombia. Several notable outcomes emerged from the event, shaping the future of DIAN's customs procedures.
The first major accomplishment was the successful review of the PCA strategy and scheme. DIAN officials collaborated with the WCO team to critically analyse the existing framework, ensuring alignment with international best practices and standards. This comprehensive review establishes a solid foundation for further advancements in DIAN's PCA programme.
One of the fundamental requirements of the Harmonized System (HS) is that it must incorporate changes to recognise new products or technology, changing trade patterns, or the changing needs of governments. This requires people to conceive and bring into effect those changes. All products arising from the human mind begin with an idea, with that identification that there is a need to be addressed, or a problem to be solved, or an opportunity to do something worthwhile. But many of these realisations that something might, could or should be done never result in tangible changes simply because it is not clear to the people with the realisations how they could bring them to fruition.
For this to happen in the HS, new ideas need to be proposed, discussed, drafted, adopted, and implemented as a change in the HS, and consequently in tariff and statistical schedules across the globe. But many people are unaware of how to make that first formal step of a proposal. To address the frequent question on how proposals for changing the HS can be put forward, a Guidance document has been published on the WCO public website.
The World Customs Organization (WCO) has just unveiled version 4 of the WCO Data Model (DM v4), a crucial data foundation that has been driving global trade interoperability for over two decades. The global trade landscape is rapidly changing as advancements in technology make data more accessible and governments make regulation adjustments to leverage these advancements. With the WCO DM v4, users are positioned at the forefront of these advancements, benefiting from significant improvements and comprehensive support for cutting-edge technologies. One of the standout features of WCO DM v4 is the introduction of the WCO DM App, a free interactive web-based application providing users the ability to easily view, search, and compare data elements in the WCO DM without the need to navigate through multiple platforms. Additionally, the app provides access to guidance materials and other national information packages, drastically reducing the time it takes to perform key implementation tasks such as mappings.
As a tool for communicating information, data integrity in the WCO DM is imperative. Version 4 improves the quality of the WCO DM by resolving data redundancies and data inconsistencies. Simplified structures and building blocks are also provided, condensing the learning curve and making WCO DM v4 more user-friendly and easier to understand and implement.
Over the past year, WCO Members and stakeholders carried out a comprehensive review of the e-commerce business models and the roles and responsibilities of e-commerce stakeholders as described in the Technical Specifications to the Framework of Standards on Cross-Border E-Commerce (E-Commerce FoS). The review involved the discussion of 38 formal proposals submitted by Members, partner international organizations and private-sector stakeholders, as well as the drafting and discussion of proposed amendments. The purpose of the amendments is to reflect the dynamically evolving nature of e-commerce and provide more clarity on the roles and responsibilities of the various e-commerce stakeholders. Given its specific implications for Customs, a description of the e-commerce fulfilment process has been added to the part of the Technical Specifications describing e-commerce business models. The outcome of the review work was approved by the Council on 23 June 2023 and the updated version of the Technical Specifications to the E-Commerce FoS is now available on the WCO web-site as part of the E-Commerce Package.
The Eswatini Revenue Service (ERS), in partnership with the World Customs Organization (WCO), launched the electronic Advance Ruling Tool (e-ART), in Mbabane, Eswatini. The e-ART aims to provide binding Customs decisions on classification and origin of commodities prior to their entry to or exit from the country. It represents a significant achievement for the ERS, following the launch of the Electronic Tariff Tool in 2021 and a series of technical assistance and support to implement advance rulings under the EU-HS Africa Programme as well as wider trade facilitation measures under the framework of the multi-year partnership with the Accelerate Trade Facilitation Programme as funded by the United Kingdom. In his opening remarks, the Eswatini Minister of Finance, highlighted the importance of the Web-based e-ART, as a major contribution to the country’s trade facilitation endeavours. He expressed his appreciation to the WCO for the continuous capacity building and technical assistance provided, namely under the WCO’s EU HS-Africa Programme and Accelerate Trade Facilitation Programme.
WTO members agreed at a meeting of the Dispute Settlement Body (DSB) on 15 June to a request from the European Union and India to grant the DSB additional time to consider the adoption of the panel ruling in “India — Tariff Treatment on Certain Goods in the Information and Communications Technology Sector” (DS582).
On 19 June, the WTO circulated the panel report in the case brought by Japan in “China — Anti-Dumping Measures on Stainless Steel Products from Japan” (DS601).
The WTO issued today (6 July) the 2023 edition of “World Tariff Profiles”, an annual publication providing comprehensive information on tariffs imposed on imports by over 170 countries and customs territories. The report — jointly prepared with the International Trade Centre and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) — also provides data on non-tariff measures, such as anti-dumping actions, countervailing duties and safeguard measures.