WCO PICARD Conference 2009

“Partnership in Customs Academic Research and Development”

 The fourth annual PICARD Conference was held in San Jose, Costa Rica from 28 to 30 September 2009 and hosted by the University of Costa Rica.

Conference Summary

The Conference was attended by almost 140 delegates representing WCO Members, the academic world and other interested parties. The conference was co-chaired by Prof. David Widdowson, President of the International Network of Customs Universities (INCU) and Prof. Jhon Fonseca from the University of Costa Rica.

Mr. Lars Karlsson, the WCO Director of Capacity Building, welcomed all delegates, extended his greetings to the conference organisers (the University of Costa Rica, the Government of Costa Rica and INCU), encouraged all institutions to participate more actively in the PICARD Programme, and announced the theme of the conference, namely, the impact of the financial crisis on Customs.

In her opening speech, the Costa Rican Foreign Trade Vice-Minister, Mrs. Amparo Pacheco Oreamuno, stressed the importance of risk management in Customs in order to facilitate legal trade and curb illegal transactions.

The Vice-President of Investigation at the University of Costa Rica (UCR), Mr. Henning Jensen, underlined the utmost importance of the educational component for any policy field.

The Costa Rican Customs Director General, Mr. Desiderio Soto Sequeira, pointed out that the subjects to be discussed at the conference were of central importance to Costa Rica.

The main discussion items for the 2009 conference were:

  • The WCO recognition procedure for University Customs Curricula based on PICARD Professional Standards;
  • The growth of the INCU network and existing Customs-oriented academic programs;
  • Customs-related research projects.

Prof. David Widdowson, President of the INCU explained how the INCU was working with the WCO on Members’ needs and reiterated that more information on the kinds of academic research required by WCO Members to achieve their objectives would be useful. Mr Mikhail Kashubsky, Head of Secretariat of the International Network of Customs Universities (INCU), presented an overview of the INCU and its membership.

One of the highlights of the conference was the signing of two Memoranda of Understanding (WCO/Ukrainian Customs Academy and WCO/INCU) to promote cooperation in the development of world class education and research.

This hugely successful event was dedicated to academic programmes focused on Customs and research on Customs-related topics. It brought together many academics and Customs representatives from all six regions of the WCO. Most participants came from the Americas and Caribbean region; representing 35% of the total number of attendees. Many INCU members and affiliates actively participated in the Conference.

Conference Documents

  • Conference Agenda:  EN   FR   SP
  • Conference Report:  EN   FR   SP
  • Conference Brochure:  EN

Conference Presentations

The following presentations were delivered at the conference:

Message from WCO Secretary-General Mr Kunio Mikuriya, WCO Secretary-General EN FR SP
WCO Capacity Building Strategy and programmes Mr Lars Karlsson, Director, WCO Capacity Building Directorate EN FR SP
PICARD Professional Standards and WCO recognition procedure Mrs Riitta Passi, WCO PICARD Programme Manager EN FR SP
WCO Management Development programmes Mrs Riitta Passi, WCO PICARD Programme Manager EN FR SP
International Network of Customs Universities (INCU) – Update Mr Mikhail Kashubsky, INCU Secretariat EN
Proposed Chapter of the INCU in Central America Prof Jhon Fonseca, University of Costa Rica SP
CCLEC/CCES Certificate and Executive Diploma Program Mr Paul Hilaire, Permanent Secretary, CCLEC EN FR SP
RPL at the University of Le Havre Mr Stephane Lauwick, University of Le Havre, France EN
RPL at the University of Costa Rica Prof Jhon Fonseca, University of Costa Rica SP
RPL at the University of Canberra Prof David Widdowson, CEO, Centre for Customs and Excise Studies, Australia EN
Green Customs Initiative – Operation Demeter Ms Mariya Polner, WCO Research Analyst EN FR SP
Of Regional Trade Agreements: An African Perspective of Challenges for Customs Policies and Future Strategies Mr Chiza Charles N. Chiumya, Policy OfficerCustoms, African Union Commission EN FR SP
The EU Customs Union: from regional economic integration to single action on the world trade scene Mr Jean-Michel Grave, Head of Unit, DG TAXUD of the European Commission and Ms Tiina Satuli, Policy Officer, DG TAXUD of the European Commission EN FR SP
Recent stimulus packages and WTO law on subsidies Dr Santiago Ibanez Marsilla, Professor, University of Valencia, Spain EN FR SP
Customs Risk Management preliminary results of a global survey Mr Juha Hintsa, Senior Researcher, Cross-Border Research Association, Switzerland EN FR SP
Cross-border control of radiological, biological and chemical active and harmful terroristic devices Dr Carsten Weerth, Senior Official, Main Customs Office, Germany EN FR SP
Achieving Resource Efficiency by Customs Administrations in a Constrained Economic Climate: A Critical Examination Michael Haughton, Associate Professor at Wilfrid Laurier University EN FR SP
TRS as Measure of Trade Facilitation: Customs Experience in Asia Pacific Mr Shujie Zhang, Technical Attach WCO Asia Pacific Regional Office for Capacity Building EN FR SP
Exchange rate impact on origin of goods can one be sure of accuracy of proof of origin in economic turmoil? Mr Cezary Sowinski, PhD student; Warsaw University of Economics, Poland EN FR SP

Conference Photos