26th January 2022 - Thai Customs Department celebrated the International Customs Day (ICD), a day designating the establishment of World Customs Organization (WCO) commemorated annually on 26 January, with the slogan “Scaling up Customs Digital Transformation by Embracing a Data Culture and Building a Data Ecosystem” to dedicated the efforts of Customs administrations to accelerate digital transformation.

On January 26, 2022, China Customs hosted an event both off- and on-line to continue its tradition of celebrating the International Customs Day (ICD). Vice Minister Wang Lingjun of the General Administration of Customs of China (GACC) and other GACC representatives attended the celebration on site. Secretary General Kunio Mikuriya of the World Customs Organization (WCO), Representatives and Customs (Commercial/Agricultural) Attachés from nearly 30 countries and regions, and Chinese Customs officers from regional Customs districts joined the event via video link.

WCO A/P Vice-chair attended the 85th of Policy Commission on 13-15 December 2021, which chaired by Mr. Ahmed Al-khalifa, President of Customs Affairs in Bahrain and Chairperson of the WCO Council. This meeting was held in hybrid format with some participants attending at the WCO Headquarters in Brussels, Belgium and the rest are joining remotely by using KUDO Platform.

As a WCO Asia Pacific Vice-chair, Indonesia Customs hosted the 31st Regional Contact Point (RCP) Meeting on 2 - 3 November 2021. Considering the current situation of the long impact of COVID-19, this annual meeting was conducted online and attended by 22 Customs Administrations in the Asia Pacific region including WCO Director of Capacity Building, ROCB A/P, RILO A/P, and WCO Regional Development Manager. This meeting was led by the Chief of Executive of WCO A/P Vice-chair, Mr. R. Syarif Hidayat, aiming to discuss and exchange opinions on matters of common interest, and strengthen the communication among Contact Points in the region. Several priorities that became the highlight of the meeting were Regional Nominations in the WCO Committees, the implementation of Regional Strategic Plan (RSP) 2020 - 2022, and Regional priorities and initiatives in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

On 27-28 October 2021, Vice-chair was invited by the Head of ROCB A/P to attend the 19th Regional Training Center (RTC) Heads Meeting. This meeting aims to have the update of ROCB working plan and sharing sessions among RTCs best practices in practicing online training due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. Eight RTCs in Asia Pacific Region participated this meeting as well as two RTCs candidates from Iran Customs and Thai Customs as the observers.

On 11-12 October 2021, WCO Asia Pacific Vice-chair and all Member Administration were invited by the WCO Deputy Secretary General, Mr. Ricardo Trevino Chava, to attend WCO Regional Consultation on the Strategic Plan 2022-2025. Approximately 50 participants participated in the session, which was held virtually. This consultation aims to share the current issues and priorities of the region thus, they can be analyzed and inclusively included in the WCO Strategic Priorities 2022-2025.

The Agreement on Mutual Administrative Assistance and Cooperation in Customs Matters  was signed by Mr. Mahdi Mirasharfi, Deputy Minister of Economic Affairs and Finance and the President of the Islamic Republic of Iran Customs Administration and Mr.Kazutoshi Aikawa, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to Tehran, with the presence of the foreign ministers of the two countries.

“Directorate General of Customs and Excise of the Republic of Indonesia commits to continuing our efforts in achieving best national practice of the AEO program for greatest benefit of its implementation for private sectors to a secured and sustainable global supply chain.” Askolani, Director General of Customs and Excise of the Republic of Indonesia in the opening Remarks on AEO 2.0 Webinar.                                                                                                                                      

After receiving the approval of the Regional Private Sector Group Asia Pacific Term of Reference (ToR) from all members at the 22nd of Regional Heads of Customs Administration (RHCA) Conference on April 2021 and finishing the membership selection process, the WCO Asia Pacific Vice-chair Secretariat finally invited thirty private sectors around Asia Pacific region to welcome them as the member of RPSG-AP for the period of the 2021-2024. This meeting that chaired by the WCO Chief of Executive, Mr. R. Syarif Hidayat, was attended by more than forty participants from thirty companies and/or associations in the region.

With the purpose to discuss the draft of WCO RILO A/P Transition Term of Reference, WCO A/P Vice-chair Secretariat facilitated and hosted a virtual meeting on 26 July 2021. RILO A/P and all working group members including Australia, China, Hong Kong China, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, and New Zealand attended this meeting. The meeting was started with the welcoming session from WCO Vice-chair A/P Secretariat and then, it was continuously chaired by Mr. Young-Lae Jeon from Korea Customs Service.