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The World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) and the World Customs Organisation (WCO) call for a reinforced collaboration

 

Dr Bernard Vallat, OIE Director General, and Mr Kunio Mikuriya, WCO Secretary General, met at WCO Headquarters in Brussels on 15 January 2015

Dr Bernard Vallat, OIE Director General, and Mr Kunio Mikuriya, WCO Secretary General, met at WCO Headquarters in Brussels on 15 January 2015. The objective of this high level meeting was to explore ways to strengthen the existing cooperation between the two organisations, in particular in the context of the newly adopted Trade Facilitation Agreement of the World Trade Organisation (WTO).

The meeting was very cordial and the OIE Director General and WCO Secretary General underlined their shared vision on topics related to the legitimate and safe trade of animals and animal products but also of veterinary medicinal products. The percentage of counterfeit veterinary drugs can reach 80% in some countries– playing a dangerous role in global antimicrobial resistance when it comes to counterfeit antimicrobials -, and the Customs are crucial allies for the detection and seizure of these products. There was also a lot of resonance to what each organisation was respectively doing in the fields of biothreat reduction and biodiversity preservation (fight against environmental crimes; control of invasive alien species).

More generally speaking, the OIE Director General and WCO Secretary General emphasized the need for the national Customs Administrations and Veterinary Services to work hand in hand at field level for improved border security, underpinned by good governance practices including transparency and integrity. Joint OIE-WCO capacity building activities will be designed to put into practice coordinated border management and thereby operationalize some important provisions of the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement. A work will also be conducted to compare standards, tools and data sets and make the best use of each organisation risk management system with a view to moving goods in cross-border trade more securely while at the same time reducing the administrative burden of private business operators.

Mr Mikuriya will be OIE Guest of Honor during the opening of the 83rd OIE General Session of the World Assembly of 180 Member Countries Representatives, on May 24 in Paris.

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