Customs is one of the oldest government agencies that has long been the facilitator and guard of a nation’s trade and borders. However, when the world enters the 21st century, the radical changing global context has imposed more pressure on Customs and made Customs enforcement more complex and complicated. The international trade supply chain becomes more vulnerable to such increasing threats as terrorist attacks, commercial frauds, counterfeiting and illicit trafficking of nuclear and radioactive materials，etc. On the one hand, governments and traders worldwide demand that Customs operate at the highest level to facilitate trade and contribute to the national competitiveness; but on the other hand, Customs administrations have to strike as their duties require a balance between facilitation and security. What makes the life even harder for Customs are the emerging issues including the international financial crisis, trade protectionism, decrease of Customs revenue especially in developing countries, as well as global warming and environmental deterioration, which require Customs administrations to play a greater and indispensible role in international trade and security.
How to respond to those challenges and demands? Is 100% scanning the best solution?
Risk Management --- the best solution
Risk management is the key solution to ensure the highest level of Customs enforcement and security. Risk exists in all Customs procedures. Let us presume that, in the field of Customs control, goods in risk represents only 5% of the whole trade, while the rest 95% is thought to be regular and safe. Should we conduct 100% inspection or concentrate our limited resources on identifying the 5%? The answer is self evident. Only by reducing the risk to the minimum with the resources available can we ensure maximum effective enforcement, security and facilitation.
Compliance --- the pivot of balance
Goods do not commit Customs offenses, but clients do. Therefore, Customs enforcement should focus on clients, whose compliance is the prerequisite of facilitation and security. 50% compliance means 50% facilitation, and 100% compliance leads to 100% facilitation. Different level of compliance enjoys different level of facilitation.
Member-oriented --- the inclusive approach
All members, big or small, developing or developed, face more or less the same risks and challenges. However, their needs and solutions vary due to their individual national situations. Therefore, instead of one-size-fit-all approach, we should provide tailor-made solutions and programs.
If elected Director of Compliance and Facilitation Directorate, I will concentrate my efforts on:
·Supporting the Secretary General and working together with other Directorates to fulfil the Organization’s missions and to better meet the expectations of Members.
·Providing the most efficient, accessible methodology to assist the Members to apply and develop risk management, enabling the Members to speak the same terminology and have the shared understanding of risk management.
·Working closely with government authorities, business sector and international organizations, promoting WCO instruments and tools, improving sharing of information and best practices, and increasing national-level compliance.
·Conducting comprehensive, systematic and needs-based diagnosis, and providing more practical and tailor-made guidelines, recommendations and tools for the Members.
I have been working with China Customs for nearly 30 years, which grants me with intense understanding of Customs issues concerning both operations and management. As Director General of International Cooperation of China Customs, I personally engaged and took the lead on many historic events in China Customs’ modernization and internationalization drive, such as China’s adoption and implementation of the Revised Kyoto Convention and SAFE Framework, China Customs’ establishment of AEO system, China-EC cooperation on Smart and Secure Trade Lanes, and delivery of China Customs’ capacity building programs. Besides I chaired and/or was invited to make keynote speeches at many important international meetings and seminars, such as the 2004 Asia-Pacific National Contact Point of Enforcement Meeting, China-ASEAN Customs and Trade Cooperation Forum, 2009 Asia-Europe Customs and Trade Cooperation Summit, 2009 World Customs Forum in Seattle, etc.
I am confident that my personal and professional background will contribute to the successful management of the Compliance and Facilitation Directorate and make it a more forward-looking and responsive directorate of the Members, by the Members and for the Members.