On 07 May 2021, the Embassy of Jamaica in Brussels and Mission to the European Union deposited with the World Customs Organization (WCO) the country’s Instrument of Accession to the International Convention on the Simplification and Harmonization of Customs Procedures (Revised Kyoto Convention - RKC), making Jamaica the 128th Contracting Party to this Convention.
The RKC, which entered into force on 03 February 2006, is regarded as the blueprint for effective and modern Customs procedures. It is the international standard for making Customs regulatory procedures as efficient and effective as possible. The Convention contains several important principles, including transparency and predictability of Customs actions; standardisation and simplification of the goods declaration and supporting documents; simplified procedures for authorised persons; maximum use of information technology; appropriate Customs control to ensure compliance with regulations; use of risk management and audit-based controls; coordinated interventions with other border agencies; and partnership with trade.
The RKC is instrumental in global trade facilitation efforts, especially in terms of implementing the World Trade Organization (WTO) Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) and meeting the challenges faced by Customs in the 21st Century. Against the current backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is worth pointing out that the RKC contains, in its Specific Annex J5, relevant standards and recommended practices aimed at facilitating the movement of relief consignments and equipment imported for humanitarian purposes.
It is important to highlight that the WCO Secretariat supported the Jamaica Customs Agency in its process of acceding to the RKC. This support included an in-depth review, in 2019, of Jamaica’s then draft Customs Act which was compared with the RKC and the WTO TFA. It appears that the philosophy and principles of the RKC and the WTO TFA have been broadly taken on board by Jamaica.
The RKC will enter into force for Jamaica on 07 August 2021.
Story by: Riaan de Lange