GACAG endorses full e-Customs environment

In a new position paper, the Global Air Cargo Advisory Group encouraged members of the World Customs Organization to implement the principles outlined in the Revised Kyoto Convention and move away from a paper-laden Customs environment. Doing so will “stimulate economic development, remove inefficiencies and lead to much-needed productivity gains,” GAGAC Chairman Michael Steen stated.

Moving toward a full e-Customs environment will require the harmonization of global Customs procedures, however, Steen explained. “Harmonized Customs procedures facilitate the international transportation of air cargo and, more broadly, benefit all involved in global trade — including manufacturers, farmers, transportation companies involved in all modes, consumers and nations themselves,” he said in in a statement.

“In short,” Steen added, “International trade promotes development and enhances economic growth, and harmonized Customs procedures promote international trade.”

At a minimum, GACAG said all Customs records, as well as all import or export goods declarations, should be stored electronically. The global coalition also asserted that all airlines’ export, import and transit cargo declarations sent to Customs, along with the release of shipments into free circulation following completion of Customs formalities, should be done digitally.

GACAG further recommended that Customs only require supporting documents for examination purposes on an exceptional basis and encouraged officials to accept printouts of electronic records, including air waybills, commercial invoices, hazardous materials documentations and certificates of origin.

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