India has become the Vice-Chair, or regional head, of the Asia Pacific region of the World Customs Organisation (WCO) for a period of two years up to June 2020, the government announced on Sunday.

A Finance Ministry release here said the WCO has divided its membership into six regions whereby each region is represented by an elected vice-chairperson to the WCO council.

"India has become the Vice-Chair (Regional Head) of the Asia Pacific Region of World Customs Organisation for a period of two years, from July 2018 to June 2020. 

"Being the Vice Chair of AP Region of WCO will enable India to take on a leadership role. India is a wealth of experience in promoting security and facilitation of cross-border trade," it said.

To mark India's assumption of the post, an event is being organised here on Monday to be attended by customs delegates from 33 countries of the Asia-Pacific Region and customs officers from different ports in India, the ministry said.

The event being organsied by the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) jointly with the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).

WCO represents 182 customs administrations across the world that collectively process approximately 98 per cent of world trade, the statement added.