WCO PICARD Conference 2022

“Scale up Customs Digital Transformation by Embracing a Data Culture and Building a Data Ecosystem” – 17th Annual WCO PICARD Conference


The 17th annual WCO PICARD Conference was held in a hybrid format from 8 to 9 December 2022 at the World Customs Organization (WCO) Headquarters in Brussels and was organised by the WCO with support by the Korea Customs Service.

Conference Summary

Just as in 2021, the 2022 PICARD Conference was held in a hybrid format due to the COVID-19 pandemic: Besides the participants having been able to attend online, several high-level speakers from academic, governmental, and private sector entities and think-tanks could present their research in presence again. They also were able to interact and discuss vital policy issues which impact Customs and international trade once more. The event attracted over 500 registered participants from more than 100 countries.

In accordance with the WCO’s theme for the year 2022 – “Scale up Customs Digital Transformation by Embracing a Data Culture and Building a Data Ecosystem”– the Conference was the opportunity for experts and academics to discuss original and evidence-based contributions on policy, operation and administration of Customs authorities. Focus was especially laid on

  • Disruptive Technologies and Enforcement,
  • Fragile borders and Security,
  • Customs and data analytics,
  • Fair taxation regarding the role of customs and Revenue collection at Customs
  • Green Customs,
  • Facilitating Trade,
  • New Technologies for Enhancing Customs Functionalities as well as
  • Promoting Gender Equality and Transforming Corporate Culture at Customs.

The conference kicked off with opening remarks by Dr. Kunio Mikuriya, Secretary General of the World Customs Organization, followed by a keynote address by Pascal Legai, security advisor of the DG of European Space Agency.

Thursday’s presentations could be attended via two tracks: Within Track A participants predominantly were able to elaborate on disruptive technologies and enforcement, e.g. on cross-border data-exchange systems based on optimal blockchain architecture design, the use of data, cross-border flows and blockchain technology as well as effective border management, Customs operations in developing nations and behavioral economics in customs policy. Another focus was laid on fragil borders and security regarding the smuggling of firearms in Nigeria, the effect of terrorism on customs fraud and trafficking in cultural objects. Track B on one hand offered discussions on a green customs single window and green trade policies. On the other hand participants could get involved in smart borders, a comparison of LDA and Fast ICA methods using data analysis algorithms, cross border e-commerce and the AEO from a cross border perspective. The discussions provided an excellent basis for further elaboration on challenges and facilities.

Friday opened with a remark from Kang Tae-il of the WCO Secretariat and a presentation of INCU President Prof. David Widdowson on the contribution of our network to the development of Customs Research. The last presentations of Friday especially engaged on advancing women for gender inclusive customs, changing the culture of ports of entry to combat fraud and corruption, difficulties with trade-based money laundering activities and undervaluation.

As in previous years, the 2022 PICARD Conference was attended by a number of INCU members and affiliates from around the word who actively participated and delivered presentations, keynote addresses and led several panel discussions. The following INCU members and/or representatives of INCU Institutional Members and Affiliates delivered presentations and speeches at the conference:

  • David Widdowson (President of INCU; Charles Sturt University, Australia)
  • Ricard Trevino (Deputy Secretary General, World Customs Organization, Belgium)
  • Jenia Peteva (European Commission, Belgium)
  • Juha Hintsa, Toni Männistö (Cross-Border Research Association, Switzerland)
  • Mary Isabel Delgado Caceres (Peruvian Customs Administration, Peru)
  • Bebatunde Olomu, Tasiu Sanusi Saulawa, Sadiq Misbau Murtala (Nigeria Customs Service, Nigeria)
  • Bertrand Laporte (University of Clermont-Auvergne (UCA), France)
  • Dana Šramková (Masaryk University, Czechia)
  • Yongming Hou (Chinese Academy of customs Administration, China)
  • Thomas Cantens (WCO Research Unit, Belgium)
  • Danielle Marsh (Australian Border Force, Australia)
  • Martijn Schippers (Erasmus School of Law, Netherlands)
  • Walter de Wit (Erasmus School of Law, Netherlands)

The 2022 PICARD Conference materials including presentations, speaker biographies and photos, are now available on the INCU website. Pictures of the this year’s conference can be found at the bottom of this page.

Conference Documents

Conference Presentations

The following presentations were delivered at the conference:

Conference Presentations

DAY 1 (Tracks A1-A3, B1-B3)
Track A1: The Digital Multilateralism: Cross-Border Data-Exchange System based on Optimal Blockchain Architecture Design Yating Chen
Track A1: Exploring New Digital Technologies Impacting Customs and The Use of Data – A Case of SARS Customs Rachel Sinthumule EN
Track A1: Disruptive technologies and the internet of things – obstacles rather than enhancements to effective border management and Customs operations in developing nations Chriseve Bancroft-Smith EN
Track A2: How customs can fight illicit cigarette trade by controlling key inputs of cigarette production Toni Männistö, Joha Hintsa EN
Track A2: Strengthening customs control and trade facilitation: a case study of Sihanoukville International port, Cambodia Angkearsoben Tan EN
Track A2: Behavioral Economics in Customs Policy: Enhancing Compliance through Nudges Veasna Yong EN
Track A3: Combating cross-border smuggling of firearms in Nigeria: latest threats and challenges Babatunde Olomu, Tasiu Sanusi Saulawa, Sadiq Misbau Murtala EN
Track A3: How does terrorism affect customs fraud of gold minerals? Bertrand Laporte, Fawzi Banao EN
Track A3: Change in Attitude: A Lesson for Countering Trafficking in Cultural Objects and Wildlife Siv Rebekka Runhovde EN
Track A3: Current changes in the role of customs administration in a country without traditional external borders Dana Šramková EN
Track B1: Green Customs Single Window Jenia Peteva
Track B1: Strengthening Custom’s Role in Implementing Green Trade Policies for Environmental Protection: Case Study of the COMESA Region Netta Nyakio Gichuki EN
Track B1: Streamlining the Inward clearing process of Sri Lanka Customs to reduce the Carbon footprint Hansani Karunarathne EN
Track B2: Importance of Time release study in Revenue Agencies Paulus Siteketa, Jacobina T. Anghuwo EN
Track B2: The impact of Smart Borders and the Digital importation process in the Trade Facilitation on the land border between Peru-Chile Mary Isabel Delgado Caceres EN
Track B2: An assessment of Ethiopian Customs Law Provisions of Trade Facilitation: through the lenses of the WCO Revised Kyoto Conventions (RKCs) and the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) Kefelegn Aragie Tesema EN
Track B3: Comparison of LDA and Fast ICA methods using fourteen data analysis algorithms to develop a risk management model for export declarations to combat illegal trade Hassan Ali Khojasteh Aliabadi EN
Track B3: AEO from a cross border perspective: a proposal for risk management in digital supply chains Sebastian Galindo Cantor, Gloria Isabel Rodriguez EN
Track B3: Application of Radiation Detection Technology to Facilitate the Safe and Secure Trade by Detecting R/N and Other Contraband Yongming Hou EN
Track B3: The Implementation of Best Practices of Cross Border E-Commerce in Indonesia: Evaluation of the Impact of Covid-19 Rita Dwi Lindawati, Achmad Hidayat EN
DAY 2 (Tracks A4-A5, B4-B5)
Remarks by INCU David Widdowson EN
Track A4: Synthetic Customs Import Declarations Datasets Sundong Kim EN
Track A4: A peek into data published by Customs organization: a first survey & policy implications Emmanuel Brunet-Jailly EN
Track A4: Customs revenues modelling: a tool for negotiaion and performance assessment Christopher Grigoriou
Track A5: The role of customs (and taxation) in the social contract in developing countries Gael Raballand EN
Track A5: Who Evades Tariffs? Evidence from Madagascar Bob Rijkers EN
Track A5: Moving from enforced to voluntary compliance: Illustrations from Somalia Roel Dom
Track B4: Advancing Women for Gender Inclusive Customs Sreya Hong EN
Track B4: Developing a Gender Lens for the Namibia Revenue Agency under the SACU Customs Modernisation Programme Naliyapulwe Mouwa Luuli EN
Track B4: Changing the culture of Ports of entry to combat fraud and corruption Enoch Sibusiso Khoza EN
Track B5: The efficacy of data modelling as a targeting tool for customs to detect suspected trade-based money laundering activity (TBML) Danielle Marsh EN
Track B5: The use of statistical values to combat undervaluation in the European Union Martijn Schippers, Walter de Wit EN
Track B5: Organized Crime, Trade-Based Money Laundering, and the Trade Stream Todd Hataley