Connecting Customs through sport

24 March 2011

Connecting Customs through sport

Switzerland, 22-24 March 2011.

Report

At the invitation of Director General Rudolf Dietrich of Swiss Customs, WCO Secretary General, Kunio Mikuriya, participated in the opening of the annual six country Customs ski competition held in Goms, Valais, Switzerland from 22-24 March 2011. The opening ceremony was held in Brig in the presence of Swiss Federal Councillor Ms. Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf, the Head of the Federal Department of Finance. Competitors represented Austria, France, Germany, Italy, Slovenia and Switzerland.

This competition among Alpine countries sharing a mountainous border started in 1952, the same year that the Convention Establishing the Customs Co-operation Council (now known as the World Customs Organization) came into force. Today it is an opportunity to enhance friendship among top Customs managers and professional Customs skiers from six Customs administrations.

"Sport is a good basis for strengthening cooperation, enhancing communication and building team spirit among WCO Members," said Secretary General Mikuriya "all fundamental elements of the WCO's Customs in the 21st Century vision which foresees the creation of a global network of interconnected Customs administrations focused on self development, leadership skills and the ability to work closely together to meet the challenges and opportunities of today's trade environment."