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WCO Recognition of University Customs Curricula

Universities that wish to have their courses officially recognised as meeting the PICARD Professional Standards can now apply to the WCO.

At its June 2009 Council Sessions, the WCO adopted the Guidelines on Recognition of University Customs Curricula for assessment of university curricula against the WCO PICARD Professional Standards. Applications for WCO recognition must be made in accordance with the these Guidlines.

         WCO Guidelines on Recognition of University Customs Curricula (June, 2009)

         WCO Guidelines on Recognition of University Customs Curricula (Amended as of February 2013)

(The List of Academic Programs Recognised by the WCO is available here.)

WCO Secretary-General and representatives of the PICARD Advisory Group

On 26 January 2010, during an historic ceremony at WCO headquarters, the Secretary-General of the WCO, Kunio Mikuriya, had awarded the first WCO Certificates of Recognition to three universities certifying that the academic programmes offered by these institutions comply with the WCO international standards for the Customs profession.

The certificates were awarded to:


         Centre for Customs and Excise Studies, University of Canberra, Australia

         University of Munster, Munster, Germany

         Riga Technical University, Riga, Latvia

Certificates of Recognition Awarding Ceremony
WCO Headquarters, Brussels
26 January 2010


The certificates were accepted on behalf of these Universities by Prof. David Widdowson (Canberra), Prof. Dr. Hans-Michael Wolffgang (Munster) and Prof. Aivars Krastins (Riga) respectively. These Universities are all members of INCU the International Network of Customs Universities.


Mr. Mikuriya said, "The WCO PICARD Programme, developed in partnership with INCU, has provided an opportunity to establish common development standards designed to maintain and raise the professional standing of Customs, particularly Customs senior and middle management."


"The principle objective in developing the standards is to establish benchmarks: which can be developed into job profiles for the purposes of Customs recruitment; against which the in-house training of WCO Member administrations may be measured; and against which academic development can be designed or procured," he added.

On 25 November 2010, at the PICARD Conference in Abu Dhabi, two more institutions, which are also INCU affiliates, were awarded WCO Certificates of Recognition certifying that their customs curricula comply with WCO international standards for the Customs profession.

The certificates were awarded to:


         International Business and Law Institute, Saint Petersburg, Russia

         University of Costa Rica, San Jose, Costa Rica

Certificates of Recognition Awarding Ceremony
2010 PICARD Conference - Abu Dhabi, UAE
25 November 2010


The INCU maintains a list of academic programs recognised by the WCO.


Universities and academic institutions that are able to demonstrate that their curriculum substantially addresses the standards contained in the WCO Professional Standards may apply for formal recognition.


More information







International Network of Customs Universities Inc.

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