The Official Launch of Cooperate Services Between the Keelung Port FDA Office and Keelung Customs
Having prepared this plan for a long time, the Food and Drug Administration, Ministry of Health and Welfare (hereinafter referred to as the “FDA”) successfully relocated its Keelung Port Office on January 2, 2018 to begin providing cooperate services with the Customs Administration, Ministry of Finance, Keelung Customs. The opening ceremony was held in the Great Hall on the fourth floor of the Keelung Customs building at 10 am on January 3 and was co-hosted by Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung and Political Deputy Minister of Finance Su Jain-rong. More than 150 people were invited to attend the ceremony, including the Director General of the Food and Drug Administration, Wu Shou-mei; the Director General of the Customs Administration, Liao Chao-hsiang; legislators, Tsai Shih-ying; and the President of the Port of Keelung, Taiwan International Ports Corporation, Liu Shih-tsung; as well as other Directors General of Customs Brokers Associations and Associations for Commodity Inspections.
The ceremony officially started with the loud sound of some drums. Afterward, Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung, Political Deputy Minister of Finance Su Jain-rong each gave their welcome speeches. During the ceremony, the “Letter of Intent for Collaborative Border Management” was jointly signed by the Director General of the Customs Administration, Liao Chao-hsian; the Director General of the Food and Drug Administration, Wu Shou-mei; the Director General of Keelung Customs Brokers Association, Cheng Shih-chi; and the Director General of the Association of Applicants for Commodity Inspection, Yuan De-long to officially implement cooperate services between the FDA and the Customs Administration for integrated border management.
According to Political Deputy Minister of Finance Su in his welcome speech, Keelung Harbor is the main customs location for importing daily commodities to Taiwan, most of which are food. Through cooperation between the FDA and Keelung Customs can help these services increase their international competitiveness. In addition to enabling the customs clearance process to be more convenient for these services, it can also strengthen the cooperation and relationships between different authorities based on its geographical advantage. As a result, a safe and convenient customs environment can be established.
Furthermore, according to Minister Chen in his welcome speech, the FDA will continue to strictly guard and check items after being responsible for the border inspection of imported food. The management system of food sources will also be emphasized before food is imported, and a unified management system from external areas and the border area to the internal area will then be established to prevent our country from importing tainted food. We expect to accomplish such goals as “Accessible Customs Clearance” and “Imported Food with Zero Risk” to protect the health of our citizens.
As the FDA claimed, the collaborative cooperation between the FDA and Keelung Customs, which includes working together, co-inspecting imported goods, and sharing data, can speed up the custom clearance process. It can also be considered a model for other public authorities to enhance the international competitiveness of Keelung Harbor, make the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement and WCO Coordinated Border Management workable, and create a new era of integrated border management.