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Collaboration with WCO

The INCU is the WCO’s conduit to academia and privileged working partner. Working together, the WCO and INCU have progressed a range of initiatives in the areas of educational programmes, strategic management development, professional standards, and academic research and development.


The INCU Management Committee works in close cooperation with the WCO Capacity Building Directorate to promote the academic standing of the Customs profession. In September 2009, INCU and WCO signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), which was renewed in September 2012.


The primary areas of cooperation between the INCU and WCO are identified below.



WCO Capacity Building Directorate

INCU Management Committee

PICARD Programme

Cooperative Initiative

Cooperative Initiative

INCU Network

WCO Support

INCU Initiative

World Customs Journal

WCO Support

INCU Initiative

Customs Research Database

WCO Support

INCU Initiative

Professional Standards

WCO Initiative

INCU Support

Recognition of University Curricula

WCO Initiative

INCU Support

Columbus Programme

WCO Initiative

INCU Support


WCO PICARD Programme

The WCO PICARD (Partnership in Customs Academic Research and Development) Programme was launched in 2006 to provide a framework for cooperation between Customs and the academic world.

The PICARD Programme aims to:

  • increase the professional knowledge and standing of Customs executives and practitioners;
  • encourage academic institutions and Customs administrations to increase their cooperation in the field of Customs education and research in order to raise the academic standing of the Customs profession;
  • support initiatives related to this collaboration by promoting the development of Customs-specific educational products and research activities, including the identification of research funding opportunities; and
  • initiate new approaches to Customs whole-of-career development strategies.

Professional Standards and WCO Recognition of University Customs Curriculum

The WCO in partnership with the INCU has developed a set of Professional Standards necessary for operational and strategic Customs managers to meet the requirements of the new international trading and strategic environment. 


For the first time there is a clearly defined pathway to education in Customs matters. Customs administrations and related bodies, educational institutions and students of Customs matters now have international standards as criteria for curricula, recruitment and career development. The WCO Professional Standards can and are being used by the academic world to develop educational programmes which provide professional qualifications for Customs staff, and others, to Bachelors and Masters levels.


In addition, the WCO has established a process of assessing university curricula against the Professional Standards. Universities that are able to demonstrate that their curriculum substantially addresses these Standards may apply for WCO recognition.


Based on cooperative effort between WCO and its members and the academic community, simultaneous work continues on Customs research development.


PICARD Conferences

Since the inception of the PICARD Programme, seven PICARD Conferences have been successfully held, where participants were provided with an opportunity to interact with their government, commercial and academic counterparts from around the world. PICARD Conference is a joint initiative of the WCO and INCU. This annual event has been previously held in Brussels in 2006 and 2007, Shanghai in 2008, Costa Rica in 2009, Abu Dhabi in 2010, Geneva in 2011Marrakesh in 2012St.Petersburg in 2013, Puebla in 2014 and Baku in 2015. To access presentations and reports from past PICARD conferences please click here.


International Network of Customs Universities Inc.

Secretariat Location:
Level 1, 10-12 Brisbane Avenue
Barton ACT 2601, Australia

Postal Address:
Locked Bag 119
Kingston ACT 2604, Australia

Phone: +61 2 6272 6300

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