World Customs Organization (WCO)

Commerce

The World Customs Organization (WCO) is an international organization that provides support to its member states in customs matters.

In addition, the World Customs Organization contributes to their cooperation and communication to improve efficiency in customs control.

This organization was created in 1952, by the thirteen members of the European Economic Cooperation Committee. At the time, it was known as the Customs Cooperation Council. Later, with the inclusion of more members, it adopts the current name due to its global nature.

Organizational structure

The highest body of the WCO is the Council. This, is in charge of the administration and the fulfillment of the mission of the organization. Likewise, it is kept operational through a system of Committees and a Secretariat.

These committees are the following:

  • Policies.
  • Finance.
  • Permanent Technician, including the IT Subcommittee.
  • Fight Against Fraud.
  • Harmonized System, including the Harmonized System Review Subcommittee and the Scientific Subcommittee.
  • Customs Valuation Technician.
  • Technician on Rules of Origin.

Objectives of the WCO

The main objective of this organization is to promote the streamlining of customs processes. This, with the ultimate aim of stimulating international trade among its members. First, it establishes standardized practices for the harmonization of processes. These practices streamline the transit of goods and people through customs, avoiding congestion. Second, it improves cooperation among its members to harmonize laws and prevent crimes and infractions. Third, it keeps its members updated on the most effective practices in the face of the evolution of trade and new technologies.

In this sense, with these three points as a mission, this multilateral organization seeks to avoid unfair practices and seeks to increase the flow of trade. Without these recommendations, international trade becomes difficult due to the lack of standardized instruments. In addition, to enhance cooperation, it serves as a means of discussion for joint decision-making.

It should be noted that the WCO has joint work programs with the World Trade Organization (WTO), the aim of both being to achieve these objectives.

Financing of the WCO

The constitutive agreement of the former Customs Cooperation Council establishes that each member must pay an annual contribution. Therefore, like other multilateral organizations, funding comes from membership.

These contributions are established by the Council, as the highest governing body. Also, the document establishes that the members must bear the expenses incurred by the delegation itself to the Council.

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