Myanmar has become the latest member of the World Customs Organization (WCO) to accede to the Revised Kyoto Convention (RKC), making the Southeast Asian nation the 123rd contracting party to the convention.
WCO announced that the embassy of Myanmar in Brussels deposited with the WCO the country’s instrument of accession to the RKC—formally called the International Convention on the Simplification and Harmonization of Customs Procedures—on October 2, 2020.
“Accession” is when a state accepts the offer to become a party to a treaty already negotiated and signed by other states. It has the same legal effect as ratification.
In force since February 2006, the WCO’s Revised Kyoto Convention is the main trade facilitation customs convention. It aims to facilitate trade by harmonizing and simplifying customs procedures and practices. To this end the convention provides standards and recommended practices for modern customs procedures and techniques.
Countries wishing to become a contracting party to this international convention have to accept the Body and the General Annex to the RKC, which are binding.
The convention contains several important principles, including the following:
- transparency and predictability of customs actions;
- standardization and simplification of the goods declaration and supporting documents;
- simplified procedures for authorized persons;
- maximum use of information technology;
- appropriate Customs control to ensure compliance with regulations;
- use of risk management and audit-based controls;
- coordinated interventions with other border agencies;
- partnership with the trade
The RKC is instrumental for global trade facilitation efforts, especially the implementation of the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement and to meet the challenges of customs in the 21st Century.
WCO said that in view of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Revised Kyoto Convention contains, in its Specific Annex J5, relevant standards and recommended practice aiming to facilitate the movement of relief consignments and equipment imported for humanitarian purposes.
WCO Secretary General Kunio Mikuriya welcomed Myanmar’s accession, saying it demonstrated Myanmar’s commitment to implementing customs procedures adapted to the international trade environment.
The Revised Kyoto Convention will enter into force for Myanmar on January 2, 2021.