U-Freight endorses WCO framework as trade war heats up

As international trade policy tensions continue to swell, Hong Kong-based logistics firm U-Freight Group has advocated for use of the World Customs Organization’s (WCO’s) newest publication – today releasing a statement that advocates the merits of the framework, which were created to help customs and other government agencies navigate challenges with cross-border e-commerce activity.

The WCO has taken on a leadership role in unifying customs procedures, especially for managing cross-border e-commerce, which in the past has typically been addressed per consortium or company-by-company.

This most recent installment of the WCO framework builds upon the e-commerce focused “Luxor Resolution,” released by the organization earlier this year, which U-Freight has also endorsed. The plan facilitates the exchange of data between stakeholders and agencies for effective risk management in light of growing volumes of cross-border e-commerce – specifically addressing procedures related to clearance, revenue collection and return and prevention of fraud and illicit trade.

U-Freight is a prominent player in trans-Pacific trade. In April, it opened a new 80,000-square-foot facility near Los Angeles, appealing to its Chinese and U.S. shipping clients. CEO Simon Wong said that the company is active in trying to address the “key issues stemming from increasing volumes of business-to-business and business-to-consumer e-commerce shipments and the time-sensitivity thereof” within its management.

Companies like U-Freight will be some of the first in line to experience the effects of Trump-era protectionist policies. Last month, the Trump administration imposed a 25 percent tariff on various Chinese goods worth US$34 billion, with a potential to expand that figure beyond $200 billion, which China answered with its own tariffs on American exports, such as beef, dairy and tobacco. Both countries could potentially widen the pool of goods encompassed by these policies, increasing expenses for trans-Pacific logistics players.

As the story continues to unfold, the WCO said it will also support its members in implementing the framework with five regional workshops between now and 2019. The first event took place in India earlier this week.

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