The World Customs Organization

The World Customs Organization (WCO), a name that has been in existence since 1994 to designate the Customs Co-operation Council (established on January 26, 1953), is an international and intergovernmental organization because of matters related to customs regulations.

The aim of the WCO is to provide leadership, guidance and support to Customs administrations to secure and facilitate legitimate trade, realize revenues, protect society and build capacity today, the WCO brings together 179 customs administrations representing 98% of international trade and equal in law and duty. Its headquarters are in Brussels (Belgium).

It enjoys international recognition as a global center of customs expertise. It plays a key role in today's debates, for the development, promotion and implementation of modern customs procedures and systems. Its main international customs conventions, instruments and tools include: on the following topics:

• Classification of goods;
• Customs valuation,
• Rules of origin;
• Customs revenue collection;
• Security of the international supply chain;
• Facilitation of international exchanges;
• Fight against commercial fraud and counterfeiting by ensuring the enforcement of intellectual property rights (IPR);
• Promotion of ethics;
• And sustainable capacity building for customs reform and modernization.

This multilateral institution manages the international commodity nomenclature known as the Harmonized System (HS), which the General Administration of Comorian Customs has become a member of since January 2013 and the technical aspects of the World Trade Organization (WTO) Agreements on Customs Valuation and the rules of origin.

The WCO Secretariat is headed by a Secretary General, elected for five years by WCO Members. Mr. Kunio Mikuriya (Japan) has held this position since 1st January 2009.

The WCO is led by the Council, which brings all its Members together once a year, in a session chaired by an elected President. The strategic and management-related guidelines of the WCO are also defined by the General Policy Commission (GPC) and the Finance Committee.

The Instruments and best practices in terms of customs expertise are also developed in the framework of several other committees such as the Harmonized System Committee (HS), the Permanent Technical Committee (CTP), the Technical Committee on Customs Valuation, The technical Committee on Rules of Origin, the capacity Building Committee and SAFE Working Group.

The WCO cooperates with many organizations and associations. Here you will find a non-exhaustive list of its partners and direct access to their website.

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