BMF (Austria) achieves advance in connected customs procedures
On 20 and 21 April 2017, the meeting of the general directors of the customs authorities of the European region of the World Customs Organisation (WCO) is taking place in Vienna under Austrian Presidency. Basic questions on a guiding initiative initiated by the Austrian Ministry of Finance regarding customs clearance, are to be discussed at the meeting.
In addition to the OSCE’s policy objectives for Europe and parts of Asia, the BMF’s commitment to networked electronic customs procedures is aimed at speeding up trade and increasing fraud security. In a step-by-step approach, countries that are interested shall be networked within a five-year period.
A process already used among the EU member states and Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, Turkey and Serbia as external partners serves as an example. The World Bank’s global logistics reporting “Connecting to compete” confirms that the efficiency and quality of customs clearance is a key factor in the economic growth of a country or region.
“Austria has always had a bridging function between the north and the south, the west and the east,” said Mr. Schelling, Minister of Finance, welcoming the initiative of the Austrian customs authorities. “Customs administration is an important manager of international trade – ensuring a fast and efficient flow of goods, while respecting certain rules of public interest,” he adds.
Austria has currently the presidency in the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), but also – represented by the Ministry of Finance and the Austrian customs administration – in the European region of the World Customs Organisation. The 53 member states of this region are almost identical to those of the OSCE.
In addition to the EU member countries the WCO’s European region includes all successor states of the former USSR and all South-East European countries, as well as Turkey, Norway, Iceland and Switzerland.