13th Annual WCO PICARD Conference – Call for Papers

The World Customs Organization (WCO), in partnership with the Republic of Turkey’s Ministry of Customs and Trade, is pleased to announce that the 13th annual WCO PICARD Conference will take place in Malatya, Turkey, from 9 to 11 October 2018.

You are invited to submit your research for consideration. A Scientific Board will select the submissions for presentation at the Conference. Submissions should focus on one of the following topics (non-exhaustive list): Securing the business environment; Data Analysis; Trade Facilitation; Cross-border e-Commerce; Connectivity in Customs; and Customs and the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

The theme “a secure business environment for economic development” was selected as the WCO’s annual theme for 2018. Customs must strive to secure the business environment in an effort to boost prosperity to the benefit of all, by means of fighting against terrorism, smuggling, illicit trade, etc. This theme embraces many concepts, not least of which is constructing a sound enabling environment to ensure that traders and citizens alike can derive benefit from global value chains.

Data Analysis can improve risk management techniques which support enhanced detection of illicit consignments, suspicious movement of people, financial flows, and the facilitation of legitimate trade; it can provide a comprehensive analysis of historical activity to predict trader or passenger behaviour; assist in the collection of quantitative research for purposes of building knowledge and enhance performance measurement to improve officers’ practices and integrity. Data analysis can provide a robust foundation for the core Customs’ objectives of revenue collection, border security, collection of trade statistics, and trade facilitation.

Trade Facilitation refers to the simplification, harmonization, standardization and modernization of trade procedures. It can be achieved by applying modern techniques and methods which include, but are not limited to, risk management, Single Window, Post-Clearance Audit (PCA), and advance rulings. Sub-themes may include measuring the impact of trade facilitation (e.g. reduction of average clearance time and trade costs, boom in trade volumes, improvement in transparency, increased revenue, etc.) and obstacles to implementing trade facilitation measures. Analyses of articles pertaining to the WTO Agreement on Trade Facilitation (TFA), which has entered into force, will be instrumental in order to ensure an optimal implementation of the Agreement.

Cross-border e-Commerce, which differs fundamentally from conventional trading models, is spurring economic development by providing more trading opportunities for small- and-medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). However, the increase in goods and trading entails certain challenges for Customs administrations in terms of regulations, procedures and controls. The implications of cross-border e-commerce need to be examined from a holistic perspective, which considers the importance of both trade facilitation and enforcement.

Connectivity in Customs refers to partnerships which Customs administrations endeavour to establish and maintain with other stakeholders. Categories of connectivity broadly include Customs-Customs, Customs- business, and Customs-other government agencies (e.g. tax, trade, policy, quarantine) partnerships.Connectivity in Customs is of crucial importance in facilitating globalization and regional integration. Research on issues related to connectivity in Customs includes information exchange and sharing, joint enforcement and control, delivery of capacity building and public-private partnerships.

The theme of Customs and the Fourth Industrial Revolution pertains to the Customs community’s reaction to
technical innovation and development. Industry 4.0 encompasses a wide range of new technologies which Customs will need to embrace, e.g. cloud computing, artificial intelligence, cyber-physical systems, robots, 3-D printing, Big Data and the Internet of Things. These new technologies are enablers of Customs modernization in terms of trade procedure simplification, revenue collection, border security, trade statistics, etc. Customs administrations will need to consider new and innovative means to catch up with the new trends and take advantage of the current round of industrial revolution.

The Conference in particular welcomes and encourages attendance and submissions from Customs professionals as well as researchers from various academic disciplines, such as anthropology, criminology, economics, geography, history, international relations and international trade, law and political science. The WCO Research Unit is particularly interested in developing an interdisciplinary approach with different perspectives, approaches, and methodologies regarding contemporary systems of regulation and control at borders, and papers co-authored by Customs
officials and academics.

As in previous years, applicant submissions can include (1) Presentation Summaries of up to 1,000 words; (2) Papers of up to 9,000 words; or (3) Proposals for Panels. Papers will not have any advantage over Presentation Summaries.

Submissions should be submitted in accordance with following requirements:

  • Arial font size 11.
  • Submissions should be in English, French or Turkish.

Ample time will be allowed for discussion and simultaneous interpretation will be provided at the Conference inthe aforementioned three languages.

Proposals for Panels should consist of two or three speakers presenting research on one cohesive topic. The WCO would like to encourage Customs and academics to engage on comparative and policy relevant research on Customs issues: panel proposals are an ideal format for such discussions to take place.

To respond to this Call for Papers, please submit Presentation Summaries, Papers or Panel Proposals with the following details by email to picard2018@wcoomd.org no later than 22 June 2018:

  • Name, title, and biography (maximum 250 words) of researcher or researchers.
  • Current position, organization, and country of researcher or researchers.
  • Contact email and telephone.
  • Proposed title of contribution.
  • For papers of more than 1,000 words, an abstract of no more than 300 words is required.

Authors will be notified by 13 July 2018 of selection or non-selection of their paper and/or presentation summaries for presentation at the Conference.

The WCO is particularly grateful for the support from:

  • The Republic of Turkey’s Ministry of Customs and Trade.
  • The Korea Customs Service.
  • The PICARD Scientific Board Members.
If necessary, the WCO will seek to identify funding for reasonable travel and hotel expenses for a small number of presenters that lack institutional backing and have been selected following this Call for Papers.

If you have any questions or concerns, please email picard2018@wcoomd.org.

Information about the Conference including venue, accommodation, visa requirements, and registration will be made available in due course at the following website address: www.etouches.com/picard2018