The World Customs Organization (WCO) initiated a new cycle for the updating of the SAFE Framework of Standards to Secure and Facilitate Global Trade (SAFE Framework) in 2021, signaled by the SAFE Working Group (SWG) holding a meeting recently.
The SWG met from October 17 to 19, 2018 and deliberated on several “futuristic topics” such as using e-seals in the supply chain management, regional and plurilateral approaches to AEO programs and mutual recognition agreements (MRAs), including e-commerce stakeholders in AEO programs, and using cutting-edge technologies such as blockchains to efficiently implement AEO programs and MRAs.
This led to a number of tangible outcomes and suggestions, setting out the agenda for further work, said WCO in a release.
Other highlights of this meeting include the progress on implementing Phase 2 of the Unified File Format Development Program and the preliminary outcomes of the Dutch Customs pre-pilot, as well as Pre-Loading Advance Cargo Information for air cargo security. The SWG agreed a document detailing the “Guiding Principles for Pre-Loading Advance Cargo Information” will be enhanced and included in the 2021 review of the SAFE Framework of Standards.
Furthermore, the SWG discussed the advance electronic information SAFE Dataset and agreed to continue further discussions and work during the 2021 SAFE review cycle regarding a potential update and maintenance of the SAFE Dataset and related business processes including its re-mapping with the latest version of the WCO Data Model.
Finally, the SWG, through a panel discussion, deliberated and provided operational perspectives on how new elements of Pillar 3 of the SAFE Framework of Standards could further contribute to enhancing supply chain security and facilitation by strengthening cooperation between customs administrations and other government agencies such as immigration, post, and border force.
It examined the business case for, and provided guidance on, the interoperability of processes and systems for strengthening collaboration between and among various government agencies within and across the border, with a view to developing a guidance on interoperability of processes and systems within the framework of the 2021 SAFE review cycle.
The SAFE Framework provides baseline international standards to promote and facilitate global trade, deter international terrorism, and secure revenue collections. It is updated every three years to ensure that it remains relevant and reflects new opportunities, challenges and associated solutions.
The WCO published the 2018 edition of the SAFE Framework, following its adoption by the Council—the organization’s highest decision-making body—at the end of June 2018.