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Fiji on board to secure Global trade

05th June, 2017

As a World Customs Organisation (WCO) member, Fiji has been implementing the SAFE Framework of Standards (FoS) and is now moving into the Authorized Economic Operator (AEO) programme through the three main Pillars – Customs-to-Customs network arrangements, Customs-to-Business partnerships and Customs-to-other Government Agencies co-operation.

Experts from WCO and Customs & Excise India are present in the country to conduct a National workshop on SAFE FoS and AEO from 5-8th June, 2017 at the Fiji Revenue and Customs Authority (FRCS) Regional Training Centre in Nasese.

Participants of this workshop are from FRCS, Bio-security, Airports Fiji Limited, Fiji Ports, Trade Ministry including private sector, Customs Brokers and Shipping Agents.

The implementation of this framework and programme will secure the movement of global trade and Fiji is happy to come on board along with other WCO members.

“This is the first time for Fiji to host this workshop to enhance the implementation of SAFE FoS and AEO Programme,” Chief guest, FRCS Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Visvanath Das said.

“Each pillar involves a set of standards that are consolidated to guarantee ease of understanding and rapid international implementation,” Mr. Das said.

Mr. Das stressed enhancing collaboration between customs, government agencies and businesses to secure and facilitate global trade through this framework and programme is priority for FRCS.

“This workshop is an opportunity to enhance understanding on the Pillars of the SAFE Framework of Standards and AEO and to evaluate the current implementation status with a view to partner with government agencies to broaden and deepen the implementation of the Standards of the SAFE Framework,” Mr. Das said.

“It will also help participants better understand how to launch the AEO programme effectively and develop and apply the appropriate legal and regulatory provisions during practical implementation,” he said.

“It will enhance knowledge and provide an enriching experience in terms of implementing the first necessary steps, in particular, what kind of prerequisites should be taken into consideration while granting the AEO status, how to cooperate with relevant operators, as well as how to establish efficient control mechanisms,” he added.

“Furthermore, in line with FRCS’s vision “A World Class Revenue Authority Delivering Excellence in Revenue Collection, Border Protection, Trade and Travel Facilitation, we launched our Strategic Plan 2017-2020 last week,” Mr. Das said.

“This workshop and ensuing programs to be put in place after this workshop will contribute towards our strategic focus areas (particularly Partnership; and Legislation & Process) and will form part of our transformation effort towards achieving our vision,” he said.

Mr. Das thanked the experts conducting the workshop, Mr. Pashupati Nath Pandey from WCO and Mr. K. Venkat Ram Reddy from Customs & Excise, India.

Mr. Pandey stressed that there is a need for a robust partnership approach.

“It is not only about customs but more importantly our stakeholders, our customers and citizens of this country who need to be benefited through this partnership approach,” Mr. Pandey said.

“The other thing that is on the global agenda, is the implementation of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) agreement trade facilitation. So while we need to look at some of the emerging challenges to put robust and effective control measures, we are also reminded to implement this agreement. And we are pleased to know that Fiji has already notified the ratification so it’s time to implement number of measures based on your own priorities and requirements,” he said.

“Through this workshop, we have designed a program in particular to look into the progress we have made and then take it to the next level. This workshop will set out the next course of action in the very near future for the benefit of all of us,” he added.

Photo Caption: Front Row From Left: FRCS Director Revenue Collection, Mr. Kumar Sami Goundar, FRCS CEO, Mr. Visvanath Das, Mr. Pashupati Nath Pandey from WCO and Mr. K. Venkat Ram Reddy from Customs & Excise, India.

Back Row: FRCS Executives and workshop participants.

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