The 10th Session of the WCO Capacity Building Committee (CBC) was held in Brussels from 8 to 10 April 2019, commemorating the decade mark since the first CBC in 2010, under the theme “Reflecting on the Past, Embracing the Future”.
The WCO Secretary General, Dr. Kunio Mikuriya welcomed delegates to the meeting and stressed the importance of the Committee’s work in supporting the WCO’s theme for 2019: SMART Borders for Seamless Trade, Travel and Transport. The critical interplay between technology and human resources was underscored to address Customs’ emerging challenges, taking into account the utilisation of the frontiers of contemporary technologies.
Building on the key messages emanating from the opening session, a panel comprising WCO Members, the private sector, academia and development partners discussed the evolution of capacity building in the Customs context and provided recommendations on optimal approaches that could contribute towards achieving a balance between skills in modern Customs techniques and the resources that are required to implement them. Experiences were shared and topics such as interaction of trust and the impact of automation on an efficient Customs administration were debated.
The INCU was represented at 10th CBC by the INCU Vice-President, Prof. Hans-Michael Wolffgang. Several other INCU members including Dr Tong Hua from WCO Asia-Pacific ROCB attended the CBC meeting. Prof. Wolffgang delivered a presentation in which he provided a summary of the activities undertaken by the INCU in the last 15 years as well as other INCU achievements, showcasing positive impacts of academia-customs cooperative initiatives.
The next Session of the CBC will take place in Brussels in February 2020 and it will include a joint Session with the WCO Trade Facilitation Agreement Working Group.