Deposit Instrument of Accession with World Customs Organisation

On Monday 13th May 2019, at the Oceania Customs Organisation annual conference held in Saipan, Commonwealth Northern Mariana Islands CNMI, the Cook Islands became the second non-World Customs Organisation member, and the 118th country to accede to the Revised Kyoto Convention.

The Cook Islands was represented by Associate Minister of Finance, the Honourable Tingika Elikana who deposited the Instrument of Accession on behalf of the Cook Islands Government.


Associate Minister of Finance Honourable Tingika Elikana deposits the instrument of Accession
with World Customs Organisation Deputy Secretary General Mr Ricardo Trevino

The Revised Kyoto Convention is the global blueprint for the simplification, harmonization and modernization of customs procedures. The original Convention was concluded in Kyoto in 1973 and entered into force in September 1974. It was reviewed over a period of years and amended in 1999.

In June 1999, the Council of the World Customs Organisation approved the Revised International Convention on the Simplification and Harmonization of Customs Procedures Revised Kyoto Convention. The Revised Kyoto Convention has been developed in the face of mounting pressure from the international trading community to minimize the level of customs intervention in cargo movement and to maximize the level of trade facilitation. The Revised Kyoto Convention came into force on Feb 3, 2006.

The Revised Kyoto Convention has the following objectives:

  • Eliminating divergence between the customs procedures and practices of Contracting Parties that can hamper international trade and other international exchanges;
  • Meeting the needs of international trade and Customs for facilitation, simplification and harmonization of customs procedures and practices;
  • Ensuring appropriate standards of Customs control; and
  • Enabling Customs organizations to respond to major changes in business and administrative methods and techniques.

The Revised Kyoto Convention incorporates important concepts of contemporary compliance management. These include the application of new technology, the implementation of new philosophies on customs control and the willingness of private sector partners to engage with customs authorities in mutually beneficial alliances. Central to the new governing principles of the Revised Kyoto Convention is a required commitment by customs administrations to provide transparency and predictability for all those involved in aspects of international trade. In addition, the customs administrations are required to:

  • Commit to adopt the use of risk management techniques;
  • Co-operate with other relevant authorities and trade communities;
  • Maximize the use of information technology; and
  • Implement appropriate international standards.

The revised Convention benefits many people. Traders will benefit from improved facilitation and reduced costs. Shippers and transport operators will benefit from uniform Customs control and quicker movement of cargo and people. Government will benefit from more effective controls that increase border security and reduce revenue leakage. In summary, Revised Kyoto Convention will provide international commerce with the predictability and efficiency that modern trade requires.

7 June 2019