Jun 5, 2015

WCO-ICAO "7+1" meeting closes with commitment to more studies on pilot results

The World Customs Organization (WCO) and the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), which have been deliberating upon such matters as the concretization of the so-called "7+1" standard for Security and Facilitation in a Global Environment (SAFE, the WCO basic framework for ensuring safer and smoother international trade) in relation to safety information prior to the loading of air cargoes, has convened the third session of the ICAO-WCO Joint Working Group on Advance Cargo Information in Washington D.C. for three days starting May 18, where they held discussions on Phase 2 activities related to studies about the "7+1" rule. The event marked the first meeting headlining Phase 2 of "7+1".

At the meeting, results of the pilot tests conducted thus far were shared between the two organizations, thereby deepening the understanding of related sectors about the overall concept of and risk management involved in "7+1". With regard to the application of advanced "7+1" information, the parties agreed to conduct further studies on technical and practical approaches.

Phase 2 meetings will be held about twice more in the future, with the reports related to Phase 2 to be compiled then. The date and place of the next session have yet to be determined.

In light of the Phase 1 meeting of the Working Group validating the value of "7+1" in December last year, the WCO advanced internal procedures toward the adoption of the "7+1" standard at the WCO general assembly that will be held in Brussels for three days from June 11. Meanwhile, the ICAO is holding Phase 2 meetings in an effort to link the actions of the two institutions that have a time difference issue between them toward the decision of the body in/after 2016. The "7+1" Working Group is made up of Canada, the EU, New Zealand, Saudi Arabia, South Africa and the U.S. on the side of customs authorities, and Canada, France, the Netherlands, Singapore, South Africa, Switzerland, the U.K. and the U.S. on the aviation authority side. An official from Japanese authorities attended the most recent meeting to represent Japan as the sole observer country.

The meeting was also attended by related groups, including the Global Express Association (GEA), the EU-Directorate General for Mobility and Transport (EU-DG Move), the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the International Federation of Freight Forwarders Association (FIATA), the International Air Cargo Associations (TIACA), the Universal Postal Union (UPU) and the secretariats WCO and ICAO.>

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