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
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.
These development 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.
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 WCO recognition.