SARS Commissioner re-elected chairperson of World Customs Organisation

South African Revenue Service (Sars) Commissioner, Edward Kieswetter. SUPPLIED.

South African Revenue Service (Sars) Commissioner, Edward Kieswetter. SUPPLIED.

Published Jul 2, 2024


South African Revenue Services (Sars) Commissioner Edward Kieswetter has been re-elected a chairperson of the World Customs Organisation (WCO) for a second term, 2024-2025.

Kieswetter was re-elected over the weekend during the 143rd /144th Sessions of the WCO Council, the highest decision-making body of the organisation, which saw the participation of directors general of customs representing the WCO’s 186 members in Brussels, Belgium.

At the meeting, the WCO council examined the work carried out by the WCO Secretariat and working bodies throughout the year in line with the WCO Strategic Plan 2022-2025.

The review covered the technical work done in various areas that related to the main strategic objectives of the organisation, such as trade facilitation, revenue collection, protection of society and organisational development.

Particular attention was paid to the progress in technology and innovation, green customs as well as in governance and accountability, being the three focus areas defined by the strategic plan.

Kieswetter said after his re-election that the WCO was becoming ever more important given the technological and big data innovations that facilitate trade, the growth of e-commerce, as well as global uncertainties taking place in the geo-political landscape.

“The key objectives of the WCO and all its member countries is to promote legitimate trade, to prevent trade in illicit and harmful goods, and ensure the safe movement of goods and travellers across the borders that divide the world,” he said.

“It is known that customs unites whereas borders divide. But the unity among the customs community must be directed towards a common transformative goal that brings economic and social well-being to all citizens of member states.”

Kieswetter said it was an honour that he was once again entrusted to provide this transformative leadership of such a vital organisation as the WCO in the prevailing turbulent times.

“Central to the role of the WCO chair, is to ensure that the WCO Secretariat has both the capacity as well as the orientation to serve the needs ofcCustoms administrations around the world,” Commissioner Kieswetter said. - BR Reporter.