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34th ASEAN Customs Capacity Building Working Group (CCBWG) Meeting Kicks Off at Bureau of Customs – Port of Subic

By: Victor Baldemor Ruiz

The Bureau of Customs-Port of Subic proudly hosted the 34th meeting of the ASEAN CUSTOMS CAPACITY BUILDING WORKING GROUP (CCBWG), marking the initiation of discussions aimed at advancing customs capabilities within the ASEAN region. Delegates from various member countries convened for the first day of this significant event.

Chaired by Chairman Oentarto Wibowo, the CCBWG operates under the guidance of the Strategic Plans of Customs Development (SPCDs), particularly focusing on SPCD 11 on Customs Reform and Modernization (CRM), SPCD 12 on Human Resource Development Administration (HRDA), SPCD 13 on Narrowing Development Gap among Customs Administrations (NDG), and SPCD 14 on Knowledge-Based Service (KM). These strategic plans delineate the framework for enhancing customs procedures at both regional and national levels.

The key objective of the CCBWG is to strengthen collaboration with related entities such as the CPTFWG, CECWG, CCC, and ASEAN bodies, as well as international organizations specializing in trade and customs. This collaboration aims to promote the adoption of best practices and synchronize efforts towards the improvement of technical and professional capabilities among customs personnel.

The meeting shall delve into the modernization of customs techniques to facilitate regional integration. Discussions will encompass the enhancement of customs legislations and regulations, with a particular focus on collaboration with relevant Working Groups and the Customs Cooperation Committee (CCC).

“The Philippines’ hosting of the 34th CCBWG coincides with the celebration of the 122nd founding anniversary of the Bureau of Customs. The BOC is one with the World Customs Community in celebrating this year’s theme: ‘Customs Engaging Traditional and New Partners with Purpose.’

The very nature of our mandates as customs administrations—facilitating trade, collecting revenues for our nations, and securing our borders—require relentless engagement with our stakeholders, our governments, our people, international partners, and fellow customs officers around the world”, emphasized by Deputy Commissioner for Internal Administration Group, Michael C. Fermin during his welcome remarks.

As the meeting progresses, updates and outcomes will be communicated to the public and relevant stakeholders. The CCBWG remains dedicated to its mission of promoting customs development and cooperation within the ASEAN community.

Commissioner Bienvenido Rubio expressed his support to the CCBWG, saying: “this endeavor marks a crucial leap toward advancing and deepening partnerships within the ASEAN customs community that is poised to enhance regional cooperation and economic integration for a more flexible customs administration.”

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