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On 6th and 7th October 2010 the World Customs Forum 2010 was held in the Renaissance Polat Hotel Istanbul, Tukey under the title “BUILDING MOMENTUM FOR EFFECTIVE PARTNERSHIP”. The conference was jointly organized by the Trusted Trade Alliance in conjunction with Turkish Customs. The World customs forum, which was held for the fourth time, represents a partnership between the public and the private sector. The 2010 conference was an important opportunity for participants from Customs and the private sector to exchange views in an open forum on public/private best practices, on the challenges facing the international trading environment and on policy-related trends.

The third session with the title “Customs-Business Partnership: New Perspectives for Trade” was chaired by Prof. Dr. Wolffgang. Participants of this round were Marianne Rowden, President and CEO, American Association of Exporters and Importers (AAEI), Peter Willmott, President, Europro, John Kok, General Manger CSI, HPH and Harald Schönfelder, Managing Dircetor, Global Trade Services, FedEX. Prof. Wolffgang opened the penal discussion with an introductory speech to the topic “Customs and Business Partnership” (C2B partnership) in which he stressed the need for this type of partnership and referred to the morning sessions I and II in which other presenters (including the WCO Secretary General and EU Director-Gernal) had also pointed out the importance of C2B. Wolffgang said:

“C2B is therefore a concept which underlines many of the issues we have discussed so far. However, one may feel that a certain amount of mistrust still exists between customs authorities and the business community. This is arguably understandable in those countries where the state budget depends on customs duties and revenue-collection is therefore the pre-eminent mission of customs. However, in many countries customs administrations are largely driven by trade policy or security measures than by revenue collection and so have a common interest in facilitating legitimate trade. The European Union is a good example of this with its concept of the Authorized Economic Operator, which has now been rolled out throughout Europe. That said, some countries have gone much further than an AEO certification scheme, with partnership agreements being concluded between companies and customs administrations (i.e. not simply a licence like the AEO certificate) which represent a genuine, legally binding commitment from business and customs to facilitate trade and combat fraud, criminal offences and other issues dealing with security and safety (e.g. the “super AEO” in Finland). This shows us that a real coalition of customs and business is possible.”

In the following panel discussion the views of the representatives from trade and customs were exchanged and possible solutions for a future development and improvement of the C2B partnership were discussed. Please see the presentations of the speakers below.

Marianne Rowden, President and CEO, American Association of Exporters and Importers (AAEI)
Peter Wilmott , Presidant, Europro
John Kok, General Manager CSI, HPH
Harald Schönfelder, Managing Director, Global Trade Services, FedEx

For further information about Session III and the “World Customs Forum” please click  here .
Please also find the WCO Conference Report and the Executive summary

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