At the invitation of the Universal Postal Union (UPU), WCO Deputy Secretary General, Mr. Ricardo Treviño Chapa, participated in UPU high-level forum on wider postal sector engagement in Bern, Switzerland on 13 February 2020. The forum focused on the possibility of opening up its membership to the private sector postal stakeholders, topic which is currently debated within UPU.
Mr. Bishar Hussein, UPU’s Director General, and Mr. Walter Trezek, Chairman of the UPU Consultative Committee explained in their opening addresses the forum’s main objectives, namely to provide a global platform for discussions to address the challenges and opportunities emerging from the opening up of the UPU to wider postal stakeholders, and gather high-level directions and guidance inputs.
Deputy Secretary General Treviño Chapa highlighted the historical cooperation between Customs and Post authorities to bring together the global Customs-Post community during the Panel session on “Necessary institutional transformation.” He also stressed the importance of engaging with external stakeholders, and explained the way WCO is involving the private sector, academia and other international organizations as observers in its main working groups and committees. Mr. Treviño Chapa explained the functioning of WCO’s Private Sector Consultative Group with a balanced regional representativeness for capturing global private sector perspectives, and which have made important contributions to the WCO’s instruments and tools development process.
Other participants to this panel also included Mr. Houlin Zhao, Secretary General of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), Mr. Brendan Sullivan, Head of the E- Commerce & Cargo Operations at the International Air Transport Association (IATA), and Ms. Anna Morawiec, Deputy Legal Counsellor at the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).
During his stay in Bern, WCO Deputy Secretary General met with UPU’s Director General and Deputy Director General, and agreed to set as a priority the joint work on strengthening postal chain’s safety and security, through establishing simplified and harmonized Customs-Post procedures, aiming at speedy clearance and delivery of e-commerce parcels, as well as curbing illicit items in mail and collecting applicable duties and taxes. They agreed that the ability to capture, exchange and process electronic advance data would be among the core elements to achieve these goals.