WCO Americas and Caribbean Regional Conference

06 June 2011

WCO Americas and Caribbean Regional Conference

Dominican Republic, 30 May - 1 June 2011


At the invitation of Director General Raúl Díaz of Guatemala Customs (Vice-Chair of the WCO) and Director General Rafael Camilo of the Dominican Republic, WCO Secretary General Kunio Mikuriya attended the Americas and Caribbean Regional Conference held in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic from 30 May - 1 June 2011.

Mr. Daniel Toribio, the Dominican Republic's Minister of Finance, opened the session, stressing the importance of the Conference theme "Customs Innovation". Participants had in-depth discussions on three key topics under this theme: "Risk Management and Information Sharing" where they discussed the value of sharing information not only with Customs administrations in the region through the RILOs and CEN, but also with other related agencies; "Piracy/Intellectual Property Rights" where they identified cooperation with right holders, international cooperation such as the recent successful Tigre Operation supported by the WCO, a legal framework and training as crucial elements; and "New Technology for Customs in the 21st Century" where they underlined the importance of the human resource aspect.

The Conference also reviewed the following WCO priorities and gave their strong support: the review of the SAFE Framework and the work on air cargo security; accession to the Revised Kyoto Convention; combating illicit trade by using the RILO network and CEN; the Revenue Package; and capacity building with donor interaction using the Project Map Database developed by this region. In addition, Directors General agreed to maintain the current regional membership of the Policy Commission (with one change : Argentina replacing Brazil), the Finance Committee and the Audit Committee.