- Important International institutions, agencies and fora, their structure, mandate.
World Customs Organization
What to study?
For prelims: Key facts on WCO.
For mains: Role of WCO in global market and emerging challenges.
Context: Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC), under Ministry of Finance is organising a meeting of Regional Heads of Customs Administration of Asia Pacific Region of World Customs Organisation (WCO) in Kochi (in Kerela). India currently holds seat of Vice Chairperson of Asia Pacific region.
established in 1952 as the Customs Co-operation Council (CCC).
It is an independent intergovernmental body whose mission is to enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of Customs administrations.
As the global centre of Customs expertise, the WCO is the only international organization with competence in Customs matters and can rightly call itself the voice of the international Customs community.
Members: The WCO has divided its Membership into six Regions. Each of the six Regions is represented by a regionally elected Vice-Chairperson to the WCO Council.
Roles and functions:
- As a forum for dialogue and exchange of experiences between national Customs delegates, the WCO offers its Members a range of Conventions and other international instruments, as well as technical assistance and training services.
- Besides the vital role played by the WCO in stimulating the growth of legitimate international trade, its efforts to combat fraudulent activities are also recognized internationally.
- WCO has also been responsible for administering the World Trade Organization’s Agreements on Customs Valuation, which provide a system for placing values on imported goods, and the Rules of Origin, which are used to determine the origin of a given commodity.
Sources: The Hindu.