The 33rd regular meeting of the Special Working Group (SWG) on Customs Cooperation of the SCO member states took place in Dushanbe, the capital of Tajikistan on April 24-25, 2018. The experts discussed a broad range of issues aimed at forming a unified transport system and closer cooperation on the protection of intellectual property rights and customs control after clearance.
The participants endorsed the drafts of the provisions of customs cooperation, the regulations on information cooperation between 24-hour contact points that is carried out via the channels of the CENcommRILO-Moscow online platform, and a memorandum on the exchange of information on cross-border movement of ozone-depleting substances and dangerous waste.
"The development of these documents is envisaged in the list of measures on further developing project activities in the SCO area during 2017-2021, the 2016-2020 Action Plan and the SCO Development Strategy towards 2025. After the member states follow through on the relevant domestic procedures, we plan to submit them, in the prescribed order, for signing by the heads of our customs services at the SCO Council of the Heads of State meeting, scheduled for June 2018," said Head of the SWG and First Deputy Head of the Russian Federal Customs Service's Department on Customs Cooperation Yevgeny Kozyrev.
The SCO member state customs services also supported a proposal to involve one of the SCO's organisations — the Business Council — in SWG activities as a consultant body.
"This form of cooperation will allow us to develop more effective measures that meet the interests of both the customs services and today's business requirements," said Mr Kozyrev, commenting on the group's decision.
The participants signed a protocol following the meeting. They plan to hold a regular session of the SWG in Russia next August.
The Special Working Group on Customs Cooperation operates under the auspices of the SCO Meeting of the Ministers of the SCO member states, which have overseen foreign economic and foreign trade activities since 2004. The group's main task is to coordinate cooperation between the customs services of the SCO member states in priority areas of activity.