At the invitation of Director General Enrique Canon of Uruguay Customs, WCO Secretary General Kunio Mikuriya participated in the 2012 Conference of Directors General of Customs from the Americas and Caribbean region held in Punta del Este, Uruguay from 23-25 April 2012.
The Conference was chaired by acting Director General Alejandro Gonzalez Portocarrero of Guatemala Customs in his capacity as WCO Vice-Chair for the region.
After hearing a report on the WCO from the Secretary General, participants were informed about national experiences on the implementation of Authorized Economic Operator (AEO) programmes under the first panel discussion, comprised of Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Mexico and the United States. Following the discussion, the Uruguay Resolution – a Regional AEO Strategy – was adopted. Delegates then discussed the topic of “Risk management, evolving and emerging threats” under the second panel discussion, comprised of Argentina, Chile and Uruguay.
The Conference also discussed the work of the WCO Policy Commission, Audit Committee, Finance Committee and Capacity Building Committee on the basis of reports by Members of the region either chairing or participating in these bodies. There was also discussion, inter alia, on WCO initiatives relating to the Revenue Package and Globally Networked Customs.
Participants elected Uruguay as the next Vice-Chair for the region, and Brazil as the additional Policy Commission member.
During the Conference, the Dominican Republic announced the completion of its domestic ratification procedures in respect of the Revised Kyoto Convention and its intention to deposit its Instrument of Accession at the next Council sessions in June. Paraguay presented the Secretary General with a Braille version of its Customs Code, which had been published to increase accessibility.
On the last day of the Conference, a joint session was held with the private sector on two topics, namely “Authorized Economic Operators: Developing a cohesive approach” and “The fight against pirated goods: Joint objective of Customs and the private sector”.