Government of Timor-Leste meets with the Secretary General of the World Customs Organization

Tue. 23 of July of 2019, 16:46h

The Secretary general of the World Customs Organization (WCO), Kunio Mikuriya, made an official visit to Timor-Leste between the 21st and the 23rd of July 2019.

On 22 July 2019, Kunio Mikuriya met with the Acting Minister of Finance and current vice Minister of Finance, Sara Lobo Brites, in the Ministry of Finance, in Ai-tarak laran, Díli, in a meeting that was also attended by the Director-General of the customs Authority, José António Fátima Abílio.

"It is important, now, to identify what we intended with the customs reform we undertook and present to WCO for discussion, so that it can mobilize efforts to support Timor-Leste," José António Fátima Abílio said.

The International Convention on the Simplification and Harmonization of Customs Regimes (Kyoto), known as the revised Kyoto Convention, identifies the most modern and efficient models of customs procedures of the 21st century and identifies some of the key principles of transparency and predictability of customs actions, including the standardization and simplification of shipment declarations and supporting documents. The Convention also includes some key principles which determine that the procedures should be simplified to persons authorized, through the maximum possible use of information technology.

"We already have the law, but we have not yet adopted the revised Kyoto Convention, although Timor-Leste has already implemented some of its recommendations. We also need to revise some laws, as is the case with the law of International Commerce”, said the director-General.

WCO was founded in 1952 and currently has 183 member countries, including Timor-Leste, which joined the organization on September 19, 2003. As a member country, Timor-Leste has benefited from training with the support of the Norwegian development Cooperation agency in 2014.

"On this first visit, we would like to know the progress of the Timor-Leste customs system, particularly the results achieved, and the challenges faced and what kind of contribution the World Customs Organization can give to help improve the Timor-Leste customs system " suggested Kunio Mikuriya.

The official visit of the Secretary general of WCO in Timor-Leste aims to observe the application of international best practices in the system Customs of the country, considering that Timor-Leste also adheres to the international conventions of the WCO.

In addition, the visit also aims to assess the capacity of the human resources that Timor-Leste's customs currently possess, for the definition of the assistance and support of the WCO to the national services, in order to raise the quality of the provision of Timorese custom services to the level of custom services in other countries.