The conference was attended by WCO Secretary General Kunio Mikuriya, chairman of the WCO Council Ahmed Al Khalifa, WCO Deputy Secretary General Ricardo Treviño Chapa, heads of customs services of 53 member states of the organization's Europe Region.
It should be noted that the State Customs Committee of the Republic of Azerbaijan is currently chairing the WCO Europe Region, which covers the world's most developed countries. Chairman of the State Customs Committee, customs service Colonel-General Safar Mehdiyev chaired the conference on behalf of the Committee.
Making a keynote speech at the event, chairman of the State Customs Committee Safar Mehdiyev expressed hope that important regional issues would be discussed, significant decisions on strengthening the international cooperation, future development of the customs service would be made during the conference.
Underlining that Azerbaijan's customs service had made numerous significant achievements amid the pandemic, chairman of the Committee talked about the projects based on information technologies, steps taken with regard to the development of international trade, fight against smuggling, especially illicit drug trafficking. It was said that more than 1 ton of drugs had been seized that year, which was an important contribution to protecting public health.
Safar Mehdiyev said the historic victory won by our country during the 44-day Patriotic War under the leadership of Azerbaijan's President, victorious Supreme Commander-in-Chief Ilham Aliyev was of great importance in terms of restoring and maintaining peace, strengthening regional cooperation and integration, developing transit corridors.
Chairman of the Committee informed the participants on the work done after the WCO Europe Region Heads of Customs Conference on November 20, 2020, during the period when the State Customs Committee of the Republic of Azerbaijan was Vice-Chair of the WCO Europe Region, expressed confidence that productive discussions would be held during the conference.
Addressing the event, WCO Secretary General Kunio Mikuriya spoke about the productive activity of Azerbaijan's Customs Service during its chairmanship of Europe Region. He said that one of the major issues for customs system was to ensure sustainability of trade-supply chain, customs bodies worked successfully amid the pandemic.
WCO Secretary General talked about the importance of applying information technologies, further improving harmonization system, expressed his views on future activity.
Chairman of the WCO Council Ahmed Al Khalifa expressed his gratitude to chairman of the Committee Safar Mehdiyev for the useful proposals and initiatives put forward during Europe Region chairmanship by the State Customs Committee of the Republic of Azerbaijan, made a speech on increasing the organization's financial capacity, steps to be taken in this regard.
Following this, speeches were made, views exchanged on the possibility of launching research to identify other sources of income for the WCO, the organization's Strategic Foresight Project, development of the performance measurement system, improvement of governance, elections and other issues.
The Eastern Group of Europe Region put forward the candidacy of the State Customs Committee of the Republic of Azerbaijan for membership of WCO Political Commission taking into account the effective activity during its chairmanship of WCO Europe Region and Azerbaijan's customs service was unanimously elected as a member of the Political Commission for 2021-2023.
Press and Public Affairs Department of the State Customs Committee