A Keynote Address on Plant Health and Trade Facilitation at CPM-12 by the Secretary General of the World Customs Organization

Posted on Tue, 25 Apr 2017, 08:39

The twelfth Session of the Commission of Phytosanitary Measures (CPM-12) was successfully held from 5-11 April 2017 in Incheon, Republic of Korea, which is the first CPM organized outside of Rome in IPPC history. The IPPC annual theme for 2017 is Plant Health and Trade Facilitation. Mr. Kunio Mikuriya, Secretary General of the World Customs Organization (WCO), was invited to deliver a keynote address on 2017 IPPC Annual Theme at CPM-12.

In his keynote address, Mr. Mikuriya highlighted the timeliness of the annual theme of IPPC "Plant Health and Trade Facilitation" as the WTO Agreement on Trade Facilitation, incorporating the provision of border agency cooperation, had entered in force in February 2017. He mentioned the Coordinated Border Management approach (CBM), including the development of a Single Window System, which requests cooperation with other international organizations to improve compliance of business and provide more facilitation measures.

Mr. Mikuriya affirmed the importance of closer cooperation between Customs and phytosanitary agencies in relation with trade facilitation, and recognized that WCO and IPPC are similarly involved in standard setting, implementation and information exchange activities. He suggested a joint effort should be made in organizing seminars and sharing best practices to support closer cooperation between Customs and phytosanitary agencies at the national level.

Mr. Mikuriya’s keynote address was highly appreciated by all participants at CPM-12 as it emphasized the importance of the IPPC mission to protect the world's plant resources from pests and facilitate safe trade in plants and plant products. Furthermore, his keynote address greatly helped raising awareness on trade facilitation and clearly demonstrated the need for the IPPC to work with WCO, among other stakeholders regarding this important issue.

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