The Deputy Secretary General of World Customs Organisation (WCO), Mr. Ricardo Treviño Chapa has explained that the environment in which Customs administrations are operating globally has changed dramatically in recent years.
He noted that customs administrations have to adopt a modern approach to keep pace with the latest trends in technology, trade and regulations, adding that a full account has to be taken of Customs’ evolving role, especially when it comes to links with facilitation and security.
Speaking at the 9th Meeting of Capacity Building Contact Points of Customs Administrations of the West and Central Africa Region in Yaounde, Cameroon, Chapa stated that the increasingly important role played by Customs in security matters should not be at the expense of its role in trade facilitation, and the WCO is indeed committed to strengthening both these roles.
He reminded delegates of the main objectives of the work carried out on the new Strategic Plan 2019/2022, in close consultation with WCO Members, and of the different timelines up until the Plan’s anticipated adoption by the Policy Commission and Council in June 2019. Through a set of presentations, he gave an overview of the main features of the initial proposal for the WCO Strategic Plan 2019-2022, based on the outcomes of the questionnaire issued in August 2018 and the conclusions of the three regional workshops already held.
He explained that the new Strategic Plan will focus on specific areas of work which are aligned with WCO Members’ main priorities, saying that the content of the Strategic Plan will be informed by due consideration of the global environment in which Customs administrations operate and on smarter and more transparent cost allocation. The entire Strategic Plan will be coordinated through interlinked priority issues, outlined in the new Strategic Map.
The workshop participants welcomed the WCO’s efforts to involve its members at every stage in development of the Strategic Plan. They welcomed the fact that the main priorities presented by the Deputy Secretary General were aligned with their own priorities as a region, presented in their recently adopted Regional Strategic Plan 2018-2022. Productive discussions during the workshop led to concrete suggestions that will be considered by the WCO when producing an initial draft of the Strategic Plan for the December 2018 Policy Commission.
Participants generally underscored the need to develop proper performance measurement tools to assess the practical implementation of Strategic Plan priorities. They felt that managing human resources, countering security threats and implementing trade facilitation measures should be high on the WCO’s agenda. They also said that the WCO Mission and Vision Statements should be reviewed to better reflect Strategic Plan priorities.