WCO publishes global standards on e-commerce

The World Customs Organization (WCO) has published the Framework of Standards on Cross-Border E-Commerce as adopted at the end of June 2018 by the Council, the Organization’s highest decision-making body, together with a Resolution aimed at ensuring its harmonised and effective implementation. WCO represents 182 Customs administrations across the globe.
Building upon the key principles laid down in the Luxor Resolution adopted in 2017, the Framework of Standards sets out baseline global standards on cross-border e-commerce. It contains 15 Standards that are concise, progressive and focused on the e-commerce environment, with a view to providing pragmatic, fair and innovative solutions whilst taking into account the diverse expectations and concerns of Customs administrations and stakeholders, WCO said on its website.
The core essence of the Framework is the exchange of advance electronic data for effective risk management and enhanced facilitation of growing volumes of cross-border small and low-value business-to-consumer (B2C) and consumer-to-consumer (C2C) shipments, and the adoption of simplified procedures with respect to clearance, revenue collection and return, among other things, in close partnership with e-commerce stakeholders.
It also encourages the use of non-intrusive inspection (NII) equipment, data analytics and other cutting-edge technologies to support safe, secure and sustainable cross-border e-commerce.
The Framework of Standards is intended for Customs administrations wishing to develop legislative and operational frameworks for cross-border e-commerce. It will be equally useful for those seeking to enhance their existing frameworks in order to effectively meet the requirements of new and evolving business models. Administrations are expected to implement these standards in close cooperation with other relevant government agencies and e-commerce stakeholders, in accordance with their national priorities, capacity, human and financial resources and internal procedures.
Going forward, the Framework of Standards will be further enriched with Technical Specifications and Guidelines for its expeditious and effective implementation in a harmonised manner, WCO said.
To support its members with implementation of the Framework of Standards and associated tools through capacity building activities, WCO has planned five regional workshops for 2018-2019. The workshops aim to promote and support implementation of the standards on e-commerce and other relevant tools. The first such event will take place on July16-17, 2018, in India for countries of the Asia-Pacific region.
Established in 1952 as the Customs Co-operation Council (CCC), WCO is an independent inter-governmental body whose mission is to enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of Customs administrations. Today, the WCO is the only international organisation with competence in Customs matters and can rightly call itself the voice of the international Customs community. (RKS)