Convention Establishing a Customs Co-operation Council

General Detail

General Information

  1. Type: Convention
  2. Date of signature:
  3. Place of signature: Brussels, Belgium
  4. Depositary:
  5. Date of entry into force: 04/11/1952


Institutional Participation

Sub category

International Trade Law



What is it about?

This instrument establishes the Customs Co-Operation Council, an intergovernmental organization headquartered in Brussels, Belgium, with the mission to improve the effectiveness of customs administration. In June 1994, the Customs Co-Operations Council adopted the informal working name “World Customs Organization” (WCO), in order to indicate more clearly its nature and worldwide status. The WCO has the mission to: - prepare, update, support and ensure the promotion of international instruments to harmonize and unify the application and interpretation of customs regulations and to simplify customs procedures on exchange of goods, persons or means of transport; - support the State Parties to ensure the application of their legislation through a most efficient cooperation among Member States and between Member States and International Organizations in order to repress customs offences; - help its members to meet the challenges of the trade environment and to adapt to new constraints by encouraging communication and cooperation among Member States and between Member States and International Organizations, to promote ethical behaviour in customs matters, to develop human resources, transparency, improvement of work and procedures of customs administrations and to establish the best practices.

Why is it relevant?

The WCO represents a forum where delegates from numerous different countries may discuss customs matters on equal terms. The Organization provides sophisticated technical assistance and a huge scope of Conventions and other legal instruments, drawn up by the Member States (161 in 2003).

Additional Information

The WCO appoints a Permanent Technical Committee, four Specialized Committees, a Secretary General and a Deputy Secretary General.

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