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WCO PICARD Conference 2015 - Partnership in Customs Academic Research and Development

The 10th annual WCO PICARD Conference was held from 8 to 10 September 2015 in Baku, Azerbaijan and hosted by the State Customs Committee of the Republic of Azerbaijan.    

The Conference kicked-off with opening remarks by WCO Secretary General, Dr Kunio Mikuriya, the Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Azerbaijan, H.E. Mr. Abid Sharifov, the Chairman of the State Customs Committee of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Prof. Aydin Aliyev, and the Vice-Commissioner of Korea Customs Service, Mr Donhyun Lee.  

Some 240 participants from over 50 countries attended the conference including representatives of Customs administrations, the academic and research communities, international and regional organizations, and the private sector.  

click here to enlarge

WCO Secretary General, Kunio Mikuriya, expressed his gratitude to the State Customs Committee of the Republic of Azerbaijan for hosting the PICARD Conference and the warm welcome to the participants, and thanked Korea Customs Service for supporting the participation of some speakers. Mr Mikuriya noted that research activities and discussions on topics relating to global value chains (GVC), revenue matters and smuggling, the three focus topics for this year's Conference, greatly support the Customs community and its stakeholders in their daily work and decision-making processes.  

Chairman Aliyev noted that, taking into account the challenges lying ahead for Customs administrations, it goes without saying how important the timely sharing of information and best practices among the global research community is today, as it has an important role in informing decision-makers about the research findings that promise to lead to effective solutions. In this context, through academic research and debate, the PICARD Conference strives to help decision-makers in Customs to formulate strategies and policies.  

The conference benefited from an interdisciplinary approach to research and policy analysis on Customs matters, international trade, and borders. Presentations were made by Customs officials, anthropologists, criminologists, economists, lawyers, and political scientists.  

The conference included keynote addresses by Dr Mick Moore, the Chief Executive Officer of the International Centre for Tax and Development in the United Kingdom; and by three Nobel Laureate economists: Dr Eric Maskin, Professor at Harvard University, Dr Edward Prescott, Professor at Arizona State University, and Dr Finn Kydland, Professor at the University of California in Santa Barbara.  

Presentations were also made by representatives of several journals that publish papers on Customs and border issues, including the Global Trade and Customs Journal, the Journal of Borderlands Studies, and the World Customs Journal.  

An INCU presentation entitled INCU - Ten Years of Promoting the Academic Standing of the Customs Profession was jointly delivered by Dr Mikhail Kashubsky, INCU Head of Secretariat and Ms Lala Imanova, INCU Regional Office Manager. As part of the presentation the INCU took the opportunity to present 10th Anniversary Awards to some of its members and affiliates in order to formally recognise the contribution they made to the INCU. The Certificates of Recognition and complementary 3-year Institutional INCU Memberships were presented by the INCU President, Prof. David Widdowson and the INCU Vice-President, Prof. Hans-Michael Wolffgang, to the following four institutions:

  • Cross-Border Research Association (Switzerland);
  • University of Costa Rica (Costa Rica); 
  • University of Customs and Finance (Ukraine); and
  • State Customs Committee of the Republic of Azerbaijan and its Academy.

A Youth Forum took place on the last day of the conference, bringing together some 70 students from various universities to discuss topics raised during the Conference, as well as future career possibilities in Customs and in the international trade arena.  

The Conference was attended by a number of individual members of the INCU and representatives of the INCU affiliates and institutional members including several members of the INCU Management Committee, the Advisory Board and the INCU Secretariat.

During the three days of the conference in Baku, the INCU held a joint meeting of the INCU Management Committee and Advisory Board and the Annual General Meeting of INCU members, where the implementation of the INCU Baku Resolution and other future initiatives were discussed, as well as several bilateral meetings. The INCU Annual General Meeting was attended by several observers including representatives of the WCO and the International Road Transport Union (IRU). 

Following the conference, the INCU held the Inauguration Ceremony of its first Regional Office in Baku, which was officially opened on 11 September 2015.

Conference Agenda: English    French    Russian    Spanish

Conference Photos: View Gallery

Students' Reflections: English

Conference Presentations:





International Cooperation: Comparing Trade and Tax (or tariffs and corporate taxes; or Erik and Erika)

Mick Moore



Smuggling- an old plague constantly evolving: the Cameroon Customs Experience

Minette Libom


Bounty Hunter Reward System: is it a management evil?

M.R. Rajmohan


Seizures of Inconvenience?

Siv. Runhovde


Global value chains as the new development paradigm: what implications for Customs?

Gaelle Balineau


The impact of responsible consumption standards on global value- chains and international transactions

Antoine Vion


10 years of promoting the Academic Standing of the Customs Profession

Mikhail Kashubky

Lala Imanova



World Customs Journal

David Widdowson



Kluwer Law International Global Trade and Customs Journal

John Brew



Journal of Borderlands Studies Annual report 2014-15

Emmanuel Brunet Jailly



World Customs Organization East and Southern Africa

Regional office for Capacity Building

Christine Msemburi



Management of innovative customs development projects: experience of Azerbaijan Customs

Igbal Babayev


Information cooperation between the private sector and Customs: a case study of the economic integration in CIS

Valeriya Ermakova


International Harmonization in the Rules of Cross- border Electronic Commerce

Min Wang


Global value chains, border management and Australian trade

Nicholas Humphries


Reconciling rules of origin and global value chains: the case for reform

Dylan Geraets


The adjudication of customs tariff classification disputes- lessons from Australia and Canada

Theo Colesky


A framework for a database to share information on tax revenue streams and tax collection costs among Customs Administrations Globally

Juha Hintsa


Compensation of Customs Duty New tasks for Customs Administrations

Robert Luissi


Determinants and pervasiveness of the evasion of customs duties

Christina Mitaritonna


An analysis of the risks for fraud in storage and inspection/ processing areas (MAD)

Lofti Ayadi


The World Ranking of Trade Statistics Accuracy

Shintaro Hamanaka


Protection of cultural property as part of the security policy of the European Union

Tomasz Nowak


Combating the illicit trade of cultural property and archaeological and ethnological objects in the United States. US immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) seizures under analysis

Maria Vazquez


Method of automatic selection of the basis for calculating the amount of customs duties and taxes under the control of customs value of goods

Yulia Mazanik


Risk management system as a modern tool for counteracting customs offenses

Oleg Komarov


The normality of informality: estimating informal trade between Mal and Algeria

Sami Bensassi


Profit, networks, and power: real government and informality in cross-border trade in Sierra Leone

Vanessa Van den Boogaard


Kurdistan Iraq: A space for the redeployment of commercial trade routes between Turkey and Iraq

Cyrille Roussel


Why have global markets failed to reduce inequality on development countries

Eric Maskin






International Network of Customs Universities Inc.

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