On October 9th, the ASEM 13 Customs Directors-General and Commissioners Meeting was held in Ha Long city in northeastern Quang Ninh province, with the participation of 53 delegations from customs agencies of member countries of the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM), the Secretary General of the World Customs Organisation (WCO), the European Union (EU) and embassies of ASEM member countries in Vietnam.

Delegates at ASEM 13. (Photo: CPV)

According to Deputy Minister of Finance Do Hoang Anh Tuan the event offers opportunities for the parties to join hands and renew customs management methods in accordance with requirements of the IR 4.0, further cooperate to develop human resources and increase exchanges for mutual sustainable development.

The 2020-2021 ASEM customs action plan is expected to envisage 8 goals, including: facilitating trade and online customs procedures, implementing the one-stop-shop mechanism, effectively managing the customs sector through high technology, promoting the green customs campaign to prevent the illegal transportation of scrap and waste, strengthening customs coordination to prevent counterfeit goods, enforcing intellectual property rights at border areas, connecting ASEM through information sharing, and promoting ASEM cooperation in transit operations and customs management over e-commerce.

The Ha Long Declaration represents the commitments of ASEM Customs Directors-General on the goals and priorities for customs cooperation in the future, as well as ASEM Customs Action Plan for the 2020-2021 period with action programs approved at the event.

One of the major topics of the meeting is the fight against scrap and waste. For Vietnam’s initiative at ASEM 13, Vietnam Customs has also suggested discussions on the green customs campaign in order to prevent illegal transportation of waste. For the fight against counterfeiting, Vietnam Customs continues to cooperate more closely and effectively with the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF).

In 2018-2019, ASEM customs cooperation focus on four priorities which were adopted at the 12th meeting in 2017 in Germany, namely trade facilitation and supply chain security, fight against counterfeit goods and enforcement of intellectual property rights, social and environmental protection, and community connectivity and ASEM vision./.

BTA