The 12th annual WCO PICARD Conference took place from 26 to 28 September 2017 in Hammamet, Tunisiaand was organised by the World Customs Organization (WCO) in with the partnership of the Tunisian Customs Administration.
The conference was attended by more than 200 participants from 65 countries, representing Customs administrations, the academic and research communities, international and regional organisations, and the private sector. As in previous years, the 2017 PICARD Conference was attended by many INCU members and affiliates from various parts of the world.
The conference started with opening remarks delivered by Tunisia’s Finance Minister, Mr Ridha Chalghoum, WCO Secretary General Dr Kunio Mikuriya, and a representative of the Korea Customs Service, Mr. Chang-Ryung Han, Director of Information Analysis.
In his welcome address, the Finance Minister, Mr Ridha Chalghoum emphasized the importance of this Conference for the Tunisian Government and Customs. He considered it as a way to nurture the traditional Customs approach and vision with new ideas, to support Customs in its efforts to adequately address the current main challenges at borders, namely terrorism, smuggling, organised crime and corruption.
Secretary General Mikuriya expressed his gratitude to Tunisian Director General of Customs, Mr. Adel Ben Hassen, and his team for hosting the PICARD Conference, extended a warm welcome to the participants, and thanked the Korea Customs Service for supporting the participation of some of the speakers.
Dr. Mikuriya noted that “research activities and discussions on these topics, digging beyond Customs’traditional mandate into areas such as geospatial data, biometrics, or other innovative areas greatly support the Customs community and its stakeholders in their daily work and in their decision-making processes.”
Many INCU members and affiliates actively participated in the Conference including delivering keynote addresses, presentations, and chairing and leading panel and roundtable discussions, and chairing the Youth Forum.
INCU Member, Prof. Emmanuel Brunet-Jailly (University of Victoria, Canada) delivered a Keynote Address on the topic “Borders in Globalization Research”. Presentations were also delivered by the following INCU Members and Affiliates:
- Dr Salamat Ali (Federal Board of Revenue, Pakistan)
- Prof Dr Yao-Hua Tan (Delft University of Technology, Netherlands)
- Mr Xiaoping Jiang (Beijing Re-code Trade Security and Facilitation Research Center, China)
- Prof Andrey Klochenko (Russian Customs Academy, Russia)
- Dr Juha Hintsa (Cross-border Research Association, Switzerland)
- Ms Jenia Peteva (European Commission, Belgium)
- Dr Andrew Grainger (Nottingham University Business School, UK)
- Prof Dr Wieslaw Czyzowicz (Warsaw School of Economics, Poland)
Head of INCU Secretariat, Dr Mikhail Kashubsky, led a Roundtable discussion on “Partnership between Academia and Customs”. Other roundtable members included Mr Giovanni Gaeta, Technical Officer, WCO, Dr Audrey Klochenko, Russian Customs Academy, , Dr Tong Hua, WCO Regional Office for Capacity Building (ROCB), Thailand and Mr Yeon Soo Choi, Technical Officer, WCO.
The Conference concluded with a Youth Forum, which provided an opportunity for some 10 students from Belarus, Russia, the Philippines and Tunisia, amongst others, to discuss topics integral to Customs as well as future career possibilities in Customs and international trade. The Youth Forum was chaired by Prof. Elena Bogdanova from ITMO University, St Petersburg, Russia, which is one of INCU’s active Affiliates.