Taiwan and Finland concluded a cooperation agreement on tackling customs fraud Jan. 19 in the Finnish capital Helsinki, paving the way for their respective customs authorities to conduct joint law enforcement operations.
Titled the Arrangement on Cooperation Between the Taiwan Customs Service and Finnish Customs Service to Combat Customs Fraud, the accord was signed by Liao Chao-hsiang, director-general of the Customs Administration under the Ministry of Finance, and Antti Hartikainen, head of Finland’s customs authority. The pact will strengthen border security and information sharing while helping facilitate trade expansion.
Following the signing ceremony, representatives held a bilateral meeting at Finland’s customs administration, during which they charted the course of future collaboration and designated the officials responsible for managing contacts between the two authorities.
Later the same day, the Taiwan delegation visited Helsinki’s Vuosaari Harbor and exchanged views with Finnish customs administrators on issues spanning cross-border e-commerce, inspection equipment, risk management and sniffer dog training.
The MOF said that the pact underscores Taiwan’s commitment to ensuring that its customs practices are in line with the highest international standards. This latest agreement follows an administrative cooperation arrangement with the European Anti-Fraud Office last November, and an anti-fraud accord signed with the German Customs Investigation Bureau in September 2012.
According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, relations between Taipei and Helsinki have been going from strength to strength in recent years. The Nordic country was Taiwan’s 12th largest trading partner in the EU in 2015, with two-way trade totaling US$650 million and Taiwan enjoying a surplus of US$140 million. (SFC-E)
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