Beijing Declaration

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 First Global Cross-Border E-Commerce Conference

  (DRAFT) Beijing Declaration

  Beijing, China

  10 February, 2018

The growing pace of cross-border e-commerce, dynamically driven by innovative technologies, presents many great contributions and several challenges to international trade. In order to understand this ever-changing economic landscape and preparing to meet the expectations in a sustainable manner, the international community is called upon to work together with all the concerned stakeholders along the supply chain.

Against this backdrop, the First Global Cross-Border E-Commerce Conference, held from February 9 to 10, 2018 in Beijing, brought together over 1000 representatives from Customs administrations, other government agencies, e-commerce operators, international organizations, micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs), consumers and academia from various countries and regions.

The Conference, which has served as a new platform for discussions and information sharing on sustainable development of cross-border e-commerce, recognized the huge opportunity to boost the competitiveness of nations, provide new growth engines, develop new trade models, drive new consumption trends and create new job opportunities.

Noting that cross-border e-commerce requires new approaches and policy orientations, the Conference called upon all stakeholders to support the secure, balanced and sustainable development of cross-border e-commerce, in an inclusive, strategic, innovative and collaborative manner while proactively addressing current and emerging challenges.

Enhancing Benefits of E-Commerce through Trade Facilitation

The Conference recognized the increased importance of trade facilitation for cross-border e-commerce, and encouraged all stakeholders to take effective measures, including collaboration between government agencies and e-commerce operators, for example in terms of platform interfacing, data sharing, and risk management implementation, as well as to take into consideration the outcomes of various pilot projects, such as the Electronic World Trade Platform (eWTP).

The Conference supported cooperation among international organizations to promote convergence and harmonization of international standards in relation to cross-border e-commerce, so as to enhance fairness, transparency, stability, predictability and security of the online trade environment.

Controlling Security Risks and Increasing Compliance

The Conference identified safety and security as prerequisites for the sustainable development of cross-border e-commerce.

In this context, all stakeholders were encouraged to implement effective measures to ensure safety, security and integrity of the e-commerce landscape, by leveraging the “electronic”, “data-driven” and “data rich” characteristics of cross-border e-commerce.

The Conference called on all parties to exercise due diligence in accordance with their roles and responsibilities in the supply chain, so as to ensure compliance and enhance the transparency along the e-commerce chain.

Being Strategic and Leveraging Information Technologies

The Conference recognized the significant role of modern information and communication technologies, especially those relating to mobile devices, in fueling the development of cross-border e-commerce, and called upon all stakeholders to give their full attention to the revolutionary changes brought about by the integration of cross-border e-commerce with such technologies as the Internet of Things, artificial intelligence, block chain, big data and cloud computing.

Stakeholders were invited to evaluate the importance of data and coordinate their efforts in order to achieve data-based intelligent management, and make better use of information available in the digital arena.

Establishing a sound Ecosystem through Joint Efforts

The Conference emphasized the need to create, through a comprehensive coordination mechanism involving all stakeholders, a sound ecosystem, which will enable cross-border e-commerce to flourish.

The Conference addressed the necessity to strengthen cooperation among the international Customs community through the exchange of information, mutual recognition of control mechanisms and mutual assistance with regards to law enforcement and facilitation by optimizing the platform of the WCO Working Group on E-Commerce and the importance of enhancing cooperation between the WCO and other international organizations.

Promoting Balanced Development through Enhanced Regional Cooperation

The Conference recognized the contribution of cross-border e-commerce in reshaping economic growth models, promoting increased globalization, and ensuring economic recovery and prosperity of developing countries, as well as the growth of MSMEs.

The Conference recognized the role that regional initiatives, such as the Belt and Road, play in providing opportunities and further promoting an equitable development of cross-border e-commerce. Despite existing differences between countries, in terms of economic, digital and infrastructural development, this can be achieved through collective efforts and initiatives. The Conference advocated regional cooperation, and highlighted the importance of transportation, telecommunication, and, financial infrastructures and interconnectivity, in line with national and regional demands and conditions.

All stakeholders were encouraged to enhance policy dialogues/exchanges, experience sharing and coordination of procedures so as to ensure the smooth flow of information, finance and goods.

Speeding up Standards Formulation to Ensure Sustainable Growth

The Conference recognized the need to expand the scope of cooperation, given the number of stakeholders involved in cross-border e-commerce. Government agencies are encouraged to strengthen dialogue with e-commerce operators and work together with them to explore and formulate new policies, as appropriate.

The Conference acknowledged the strong message from the international Customs community through the recently issued WCO Communiqué and Resolution. The Conference endorsed, and encouraged all parties to subscribe to, the principles laid down in the WCO’s Luxor Resolution on Cross-Border E-Commerce[1].

The Conference highly appreciated the contributions made to date by China Customs, other WCO Members and stakeholders towards the ongoing formulation of the WCO Cross-border E-Commerce Framework of Standards. The Conference acknowledged some key elements that would be considered to further enrich the Framework of Standards.

The Conference welcomed the support from the business community in the form of the Cross-border E-Commerce Economic Operators’ Action Initiative. Acknowledging the value of this forum, the Conference suggested the Global Cross-border E-Commerce Conference be held every two years.

The Conference appreciated the valuable contributions from all the stakeholders present, and expressed satisfaction with its fruitful outcomes. The Conference called on all stakeholders to continue working together, in line with this Declaration for the sustainable development of cross-border e-commerce.