Compliance and Enforcement Sub-Directorate

Enforcement and Compliance is the Sub-Directorate in the World Customs Organization that is concerned with assisting Members in implementing effective and efficient controls, ensure fair and accurate revenue collection, and protect society by intercepting and suppressing illicit and criminal activities.

The Sub-Directorate adopts a programme management approach in order to better respond to the priority areas for Customs compliance and enforcement identified by our Members. These programs relate to:

  • Risk and compliance management;
  • Information and intelligence exchange;
  • Revenue Assurance;
  • Drug Enforcement;
  • Health and safety and Intellectual Property Rights;
  • Environmental sustainability; and
  • Security & Counter Terrorism.

The Sub-Directorate develops international standards and recommendations by working with WCO Members and representatives of other international organizations at various committees , such as:

  • The Enforcement Committee
  • The Global Information and Intelligence Strategy (GIIS) Project Group
  • The Working Group on Commercial Fraud
  • The Electronic Crime Expert Group (ECEG)
  • The Customs Enforcement Network Management (CENMat)
  • The Global RILO Meeting
  • The WCO Counterfeiting and Piracy (CAP) Group

The WCO has developed a comprehensive technical assistance and training programmes in each of the enforcement areas. In addition, it has established Regional Intelligence Liaison Offices (RILOs) that are supported by a global database, the Customs Enforcement Network (CEN), to facilitate the exchange and use of intelligence and information.

During the time, the WCO has also developed instruments for international co-operation in the form of the revised Model Bilateral Agreement (MBA), the Nairobi Convention which provides for mutual administrative assistance in the prevention, investigation and repression of Customs offences, and the Johannesburg Convention which provides for mutual administrative assistance in Customs matters. The WCO’s Customs Control and Enforcement programme therefore aims to promote effective enforcement practices and encourage co-operation among its Members and with its various competent partners and stakeholders.

Various tools have also been made available to WCO Members in order to further assist them in their efforts:

  • Customs Enforcement Network (CEN)
  • Customs Enforcement Network Communication (CENcomm)
  • National Customs Enforcement Network (nCEN)
  • Interface Public-Members (IPM)
  • Cargo Targeting System (CTS) (under development)