Update from 2014 WCO PICARD Conference

The 9th Annual WCO PICARD Conference 2014 was held from 17 to 19 September 2014 in Puebla, Mexico.

The conference was hosted by the Tecnológico de Monterrey at Puebla in coordination with the Customs General Administration of Mexico and was attended by some 180 delegates from over 35 countries representing WCO Members, academia, international organisations and the private sector.

In his opening remarks the WCO Secretary General, Dr. Kunio Mikuriya, stressed the need to invest in even more research to Customs’ decision-making processes. He also noted that as 2014 was the “Year of Communication” within the international Customs community, it was important to disseminate research conducted into Customs matters. “Communication is a two-way process,” said Dr. Mikuriya, “by which information and knowledge are exchanged and shared between individuals – it is not only about sending a message or passing on knowledge, it is also about exploring, discovering and testing research.”

Research papers presented at the PICARD Conference focused on three main themes: trade facilitation; e-commerce; and Customs’ role in securing supply chains and preventing illegal trade.

On the last day of the conference the WCO Secretariat updated delegates on the activities of the WCO relating to the PICARD Programme including the research conducted by the WCO Secretariat, progress made under the WCO Customs Learning and Development initiatives, the activity of the WCO Regional Office of Capacity Building for America and the Caribbean, and matters relating to to the PICARD Advisory Group.

The conference was attended by Head of INCU Secretariat, Dr Mikhail Kashubsky. Mikhail updated the delegates on the recent activities of the INCU particularly the Inaugural INCU Global Conference “Trade Facilitation Post-Bali: Putting Policy into Practice” that was held in May 2014 in Baku, Republic of Azerbaijan and hosted by Azerbaijan Customs.

He also discussed the role of the INCU in international trade facilitation and reviewed the provisions of the INCU Baku Resolution adopted at the INCU conference. Dr Kashubsky also took the opportunity to once again thank on behalf of the INCU, the delegation of the State Customs Committee of the Republic of Azerbaijan, and its Chairman, Professor Aydin Aliyev, who were in the audience, for hosting such as magnificent conference and for the exceptional hospitality of Azeri people.

Immediately after the PICARD Conference, a Youth Forum was held. It brought together students from various universities to discuss topics raised during the Conference as well as future career possibilities in international trade and Customs arena.

Presentations delivered at the 2014 PICARD Conference can be found on the INCU website.

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