WCO security task force to complete recommendations
The World Customs Organization's task force on security and facilitation is moving towards completing more detailed international recommendations on supply chain security procedures over the next year.
The group will continue to work at least until June. At that time, the WCO council may decide to extend the duration of the security and facilitation task force.
The task force was formed as an ad hoc committee between customs officials and business representatives in June 2002, in the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in the United States. The Group of Eight Nations inter-government group (G8) directed the Brussels-based WCO to develop harmonized security rules to prevent the use of legitimate international cargoes as a means of attack by terrorists.
Jouko Lempiainen, WCO director of compliance and facilitation, said the task force is conducting an analysis of security methods for each transport mode. He said the group is still consulting various parties and is expected to finish its work “towards the summer of 2004.”
“Now, we move towards the implementation phase,” Lempiainen told American Shipper.
In June, the WCO agreed on supply chain security guidelines, including the need for prior-shipment information to identify high-risk shipments, but did not specify then who would be responsible for providing data to customs prior to the shipment, nor the deadline for submission applicable to each transport mode.
Lempiainen observed that many countries are now establishing their own security regimes. The WCO, however, would prefer harmonized international procedures, he said.