On 20 October the World Customs Organization (WCO) announced that Maldives had become the 124th Contract Party to the International Convention on the Simplification and Harmonization of Customs Procedures, simply known as the Revised Kyoto Convention or the RKC.
Having entered into force on 03 February 2006, the RKC is a WCO legal instrument regarded by the entire international Customs Community as a blueprint for modern Customs procedures in the 21st Century, which supports countries’ efforts towards the efficient and harmonious implementation of the World Trade Organization (WTO) Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) that entered into force on 22 February 2017.
The RKC’s key elements include the application of simplified Customs procedures in a predictable and transparent environment, the optimal use of information technology, the utilisation of risk management for efficient Customs control, a strong partnership with the trade and other stakeholders, and a readily accessible system of appeals.
In an international environment marked by a determination to implement the WTO TFA in an expeditious and harmonised manner and the efforts of Customs administrations to mitigate the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the World, the WCO welcomes the fact that the number of Contracting Parties to the RKC continues to grow, especially as this instrument is at the core of the WCO’s Economic Competitiveness Package (ECP) and contains a dedicated Specific Annex J5 dealing with the role of Customs in emergency situations and natural disaster relief. The WCO Secretary General strongly encourages the rest of the WCO’s Members and non-WCO Members to accede to the RKC as soon as possible, given the convention’s significance for Customs, and above all, to implement its provisions.
The RKC will enter into force for Maldives on 19 January 2021.
Story by: Riaan de Lange