On July 31 and August 1, USCIB teamed up with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to host the second in a series of meetings tied to e-commerce and the work being undertaken by the World Customs Organization (WCO). Dubbed “Industry Days,” these meetings included robust participation from both private sector and public sector representatives from multiple U.S. government agencies aimed at continuing the established dialogue on the WCO’s E-Commerce Framework of Standards (FoS). Last week’s meetings were conducted in a small group fashion, which were stakeholder specific (i.e., carriers, customs brokers, e-payment, marketplaces and vendors).
Per the WCO, “The Framework of Standards is intended for Customs administrations wishing to develop legislative and operational frameworks for cross-border e-commerce.” In June, the WCO Council endorsed the draft FoS that included an introduction, 15 Standards and related introductions, as well as a U.S. tabled Resolution. In addition, the Council approved a one-year extension of the E-Commerce Working Group as well as a draft Work Plan noting the need for flexibility with respect to timelines and adherence. The next meeting of the WCO’s E-Commerce Working Group will take place in October.
Currently, the U.S. government and other WCO Member administrations are working to develop and provide inputs on such intersessional topics as Definitions, Work Plan, and Data Elements. These “Industry Day” meetings are critical to the development of the U.S. government – one government – position, and provide the opportunity for private sector stakeholders to advance general and specific comments and concerns regarding aspects of the FoS, topic specific questions (e.g., Flow Charts, Data and Data Privacy, risks, etc.,) as well as overall views related to e-commerce.
“The purpose of these meetings was to bring together relevant intermediaries to discuss and gather perspectives in efforts to assist in USG policy and position development,” said Megan Giblin who leads USCIB’s work on customs and trade facilitation. “Overall the meetings were successful and brought together USG agencies including: Department of Homeland Security, Customs and Border Protection, Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, U.S. Department of Treasury, Department of Energy, Department of State, U.S. Postal Service, Federal Trade Commission as well as many private sector stakeholders including many who are new to the WCO E-Commerce Framework of Standards.”