Germany hosted the 12th meeting of the ASEM Customs Directors-General and Commissioners on 16-17 October 2017 in Berlin. The ASEM Customs Directors-General and Commissioners meet every 2 years to discuss relevant developments and priorities in the area of customs.

The meeting in Berlin brought together the Customs Directors-General from 45 European and Asian member states of ASEM along with representatives from the European Union. The World Customs Organization also attended as an observer.

The meeting of ASEM Customs Directors-General was held in the historic Erzberger Hall at the Federal Ministry of Finance and was chaired by Uwe Schröder, Director of Germany’s Central Customs Authority. Representatives engaged in joint discussions focusing in particular on specific measures to facilitate trade, safeguard supply chains, combat piracy and counterfeiting, and promote environmental and consumer protection.

The talks resulted in the adoption of the Berlin Declaration, a joint statement that sets out the objectives and priorities for customs cooperation among ASEM members and a specific plan of action for 2018 and 2019. The key actions for the coming two years will focus on areas like customs trade facilitation, paperless cargo processes, cross-border e-commerce trade lanes, border enforcement in connection with international postal items.