The Republic of the Congo acceded to the International Convention on the Simplification and Harmonization of Customs Procedures (Revised Kyoto Convention) during the recent World Customs Organization Council session.
The Ambassador of Congo to the Benelux countries and the European Union, Léon Raphaël Mokoko, deposited his country’s instrument of accession to the Convention. He was accompanied at the ceremony by the Director General of Customs of the Republic of the Congo, Jean-Alfred Onanga.
Having entered into force on 3 February 2006, the Revised Kyoto Convention, a WCO legal instrument which is regarded by the entire international Customs community as the blueprint for modern Customs in the 21st Century, was widely used in the negotiations for adoption of the World Trade Organization (WTO) Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA). Accession to the RKC – and above all its implementation – complements countries’ efforts towards ratification and implementation of the WTO TFA. With the accession of the Republic of the Congo, the RKC now has 113 Contracting Parties.
The Convention’s key elements include the application of simplified Customs procedures in a predictable and transparent environment, the optimal use of information technology, the utilization of risk management for efficient Customs control, a strong partnership with the trade and other stakeholders, and a readily accessible system of appeals.
In an international environment marked by a will to implement the TFA in a timely manner, the WCO welcomes the fact that the number of Contracting Parties to the RKC continues to grow, especially as this instrument is at the core of the WCO’s Economic Competitiveness Package. WCO Secretary General Mikuriya strongly encourages WCO Members not yet having done so to accede to the RKC and especially to implement its provisions, as soon as possible, given this instrument’s significance for Customs.