India, US moot customs info mechanism

New Delhi, Aug 3 | Updated: Aug 4 2005, 05:48am hrs
India and the US have submitted a joint proposal in the World Trade Organisation (WTO) to form a multilateral mechanism for the exchange of customs information among the members.

Pointing out that the unprecedented growth in global trade posed new challenges for administering a border regime, the two countries held a mandate for effective cooperation between custom departments on trade facilitation and customs compliance issues is crucial to trade modalities.

The two countries suggested that members should strive for a mechanism to exchange information about the defined universe of trade transaction (like the name of the importer or the exporter, origin and description of goods, HS classification, declared value etc) using the World Customs Organisations (WCO) data model and address confidential matters.

Developing such a mechanism will serve the dual purpose of enhancing the individual members ability to comply with domestic laws and regulations pertaining to goods crossing their borders and to facilitate trade by moving compliance functions away from the border.

The paper added that the needs and priorities of developing countries relating to the implementation of the proposal and the benefit out of it have to be assessed. The WTO would have to work with relevant international organisations and resource providers to address technical assistance and other appropriate issues, it said.