FREE ZONE CONFERENCE

 Postponed

 
The WCO, with the support of the Government of Japan, will host the first WCO Global Free Zone Conference under the theme “Meeting Sustainable Development Goals - Ensuring Free Zones’ safety, competitiveness and sustainability with Customs involvement” for Customs administrations and external stakeholder partners. The conference will be held on 29 June 2020 at the WCO Headquarters in Brussels, Belgium.

Building upon the work done thus far by the WCO (WCO Research Paper No. 47 on Free Zones* and relevant WCO instruments and tools including the Revised Kyoto Convention) and by WCO Members and partner stakeholders, the event will explore key principles for suitable Customs roles that conform to the sustainable development of Free Zones(FZs) while reflecting views and suggestions from diverse perspectives on adequate Customs procedures and controls.

This one-day conference will explore key principles for suitable Customs roles that conform to the sustainable development of FZs while reflecting views and suggestions from diverse perspectives on adequate Customs procedures and controls. Key principles include: data requirements, company approval using the Authorized Economic Operator concept, cargo supervision with technologies, and collection of duties and taxes (including the application of rules of origin), and strengthening cooperation with relevant stakeholders.

Given the growing significance of FZs in international trade and economic development, we are confident that your participation and valuable contribution to this Conference will support the strengthening of Customs roles in FZs in order to ensure the safety, competitiveness and sustainability of FZs in cooperation with stakeholders.

The Conference will consists five sessions covering, a Director Generals’ Round Table and panel discussions by Customs administrations, academia, International Organizations and experts from the relevant industries and external stakeholders. The topics to be covered are:

• Ensuring FZs Competitiveness and sustainability with Customs involvement

• Preventing FZs from being “Black hole” - Are lighter Customs Procedures/ Controls still necessary for FZs?

• Rules of Origin and Free Zones

• Raising Awareness and cooperation for safer, more secure FZs

We look forward to welcoming members and external stakeholder partners to this important conference.

*WCO Research Paper No.47: “‘Extraterritoriality’ of Free Zones: The necessity for enhanced Customs involvement” can be accessed by the public at:http://www.wcoomd.org/-/media/wco/public/global/pdf/topics/research/research-paper-series/47_free_zones_customs_involvement_omi_en.pdf?la=en