10th Anniversary of the WCO Regional Training Centre in Budapest
Budapest, 21-22 February 2011
At the invitation of Mr Béndek, Vice President for Customs at the National Tax and Customs Administration of Hungary, WCO Secretary General Kunio Mikuriya visited the WCO Regional Training Centre (RTC) in Budapest, Hungary on 21 and 22 February 2011 to celebrate its 10th anniversary and open the seminar on the “Fight against Smuggling – Double Line of Defense”.
High-level delegates from 26 European countries attended the celebrations to reflect on the past and future of the WCO regional approach to capacity building.They included Walter Deffaa, Director General of Taxation and Customs Union (DG TAXUD) at the European Commission, Mihály Arnold, the former Commissioner of Hungarian Customs and the founder of the RTC, and several Directors General of Customs administrations.
“The Centre in Budapest was opened in June 2001 and became the first RTC, paving the way for the setting up of a successful network of 21 RTCs around the world,” recalled Secretary General Mikuriya. “As a former EU candidate country, Hungary primarily focused its RTC activities on EU pre-accession and association countries.The Hungarian experience served as a model for other RTCs to establish a knowledge network for Customs in order to disseminate best practices and research outcomes to address the challenges of the 21st century, like the one dealt with by the seminar on a multi-layered border management approach against smuggling,” the Secretary General added.
The ceremony was followed by a Gala Concert given by the Orchestra of the National Tax and Customs Administration – another legacy of the Hungarian Customs administration – at the Customs Museum.