First Global Cross-Border E-Commerce Conference concludes with the Beijing Declaration
The First Global Cross-Border E-Commerce Conference, co-hosted by the World Customs Organization and the General Administration of China Customs (GACC), concluded in Beijing, China on 10 February 2018.
Over 2,000 high-level policy and decision makers, as well as operational experts, from Customs administrations, other government agencies, e-commerce operators, international organizations, regional economic communities, civil society, academia and other stakeholders from over 125 countries deliberated on various aspects of cross-border e-commerce with a view to adopting new strategies and approaches that should be beneficial to all, and in particular to micro, small and medium enterprises and consumers.
Under the overall theme, “An Innovative, Inclusive, Strategic and Collaborative Approach to Sustainable Cross-Border E-Commerce”, participants discussed trends in the development of cross-border e-commerce and explored innovative solutions and regulatory procedures over the course of the two-day event.
Over 100 Ministers, Vice-Ministers, Directors General/Deputy Directors General of Customs administrations, Tax authorities and relevant government agencies, as well as CEOs of e-commerce operators, postal operators, express service providers and other business entities joined in this first-ever high-level dialogue and shared their ongoing initiatives and strategic foresight with respect to collectively addressing current and emerging challenges in cross-border e-commerce.
The Conference emphasized the need for an international standard, and supported the expeditious development of the WCO Framework of Standards on Cross-Border E-Commerce, the first guiding document on how the world Customs community and relevant border agencies can better regulate and provide enhanced facilitation to cross-border e-commerce.
In addition, through a range of breakout sessions, the Conference provided valuable suggestions and recommendations with regard to facilitation, control, safety and security, revenue collection, and measurement and analysis.
It called for setting out a standardized and harmonized regulatory framework for cross-border e-commerce, establishing mechanisms for the exchange of advance electronic data with appropriate data privacy and security safeguards, enhancing connectivity to bridge the digital divide, building capacities and infrastructures, and promoting inclusivity.
At the end of Conference, a Beijing Declaration, summarizing the discussions and outlining the future way forward, was adopted. It sets out a vision for boosting sound, secure, balanced and sustainable development of cross-border e-commerce.
“The Conference has helped enhance consensus among all relevant parties on upgrading regulation principles, promoting trade security and facilitation and achieving balanced development of global cross-border e-commerce,” said GACC Minister Mr. YU Guangzhou.
At the closing ceremony, Dr. Kunio Mikuriya, WCO Secretary General, noted the significance of the Conference and its recommendations, stating that “the WCO is ready to deliver inclusive global standards and provide all necessary support to meet the expectations of all stakeholders towards further supporting cross-border e-commerce in a harmonized and efficient manner.”
Given the acknowledged value of this forum, the Global Cross-border E-Commerce Conference is expected to be held every two years in different regions.