A Goa Declaration containing Action Plan was issued at the end of the 11th Asia Europe Meeting (ASEM) of the Directors General-Commissioners of the Customs at Panaji, Goa. The two day Meeting was attended by the representatives of 42 nations along with those of European Union and ASEAN Secretariate.
ASEM Customs Directors-General and Commissioners meet regularly once every two years to discuss relevant developments and priorities of customs work.
The ASEM Customs DG-Commissioners Meetings follow up on the agreement made between ASEM Leaders during the 1st ASEM Summit of Heads of State and Government (Bangkok, Thailand, 1-2 March 1996).
The Directors General-Commissioners of the Customs Administrations of ASEM Member States met in Goa, India on 8-9 October 2015, and recognized the need to continue to closely work together to ably progress on the following identified priority areas:
- Trade Facilitation and Supply Chain Security,
- Combating Infringement on Intellectual Property Rights (IPR),
- Protecting Society and the Environment,
- Involving Business,
- Communication and Visibility;
They resoved to continue the ASEM Customs-Trade-Days and to avail the opportunity afforded by their meetings for a dialogue with business aimed at a better assessment of priorities; and concurred with taking focused action in regard to the following activities during the next two years (2016-2017):
- Carry forward the Trade Facilitation Action Plan (TFAP) on Customs matters, matching of members needing and offering training, reinforce the monitoring of the TFAP, and recommend TFAP for 2018-2019.
- Complement the WTO’s TFA and awareness process, improve experience sharing by exchanging TFA implementation plans, examine how ASEM cooperation can contribute to ongoing world-wide work for better implementation of TFA.
- Conduct a Joint Customs Operation on commodities of particular interest like pesticides, spare parts for automobiles, motorcycles, airplanes, trains and boats.
- Revise and update the 2011 best practice guide on IPR enforcement; study the use of statistics in IPR enforcement with a view to avoid misleading comparisons and interpretations on statistics exchange.
- Identify effective communication and visibility tools including social media to examine how best to develop an ASEM Customs Appearance Strategy.
The Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) is an informal process of dialogue and cooperation bringing together the 28 European Union member states, 2 other European countries, and the European Union with 21 Asian countries and the ASEAN Secretariat. The ASEM dialogue addresses political, economic and cultural issues, with the objective of strengthening the relationship between our two regions, in a spirit of mutual respect and equal partnership.
The initial ASEM partnership in 1996 consisted of 15 EU member states and 7 ASEAN member states plus China, Japan, Korea and the European Commission.
The ASEM Summit is a biennial meeting between the Heads of State and Government, the President of the European Council, the President of the European Commission, and the Secretary-General of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
ASEM saw the first enlargement in 2004 during the 5th ASEM Summit (ASEM5) in Hanoi (Viet Nam), where the 10 new EU Member States (Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia) and 3 new ASEAN countries (Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar) became officially part of the ASEM process.
The second round of enlargement in 2008 during the 7th ASEM Summit (ASEM7) in Beijing (China) brought in 6 new members: Bulgaria, India, Mongolia, Pakistan, Romania, and the ASEAN Secretariat, increasing total ASEM membership to 45 partners.
In October 2010, the 8th ASEM Summit (ASEM8) of Heads of Government and State in Brussels (Belgium) welcomed 3 new member states to the ASEM process. (Australia, New Zealand, and Russia). This third round of enlargement increased total ASEM membership to 48 partners.
In November 2012, during the 9th ASEM Summit (ASEM9) of Heads of Government and State in Vientiane (Lao PDR), Bangladesh, Norway, and Switzerland officially joined. This round of enlargement brought total ASEM membership to 51 partners.
The latest round of enlargement during the 10th ASEM Summit (ASEM10) in October 2014 in Milan (Italy) welcomed Croatia to the European side, and Kazakhstan to the Asian side. This brings the total ASEM membership to 53 partners.