Kazakhstan hosts an Accreditation Workshop for Russian-speaking Customs Modernization Advisors

27 June 2013

In the context of the WCO’s ongoing endeavour to implement Phase II of the Columbus Programme, the benefits of Customs administrations sharing their expertise and know-how with others are becoming ever more apparent. The WCO has been working to tap the skills and expert knowledge available in Member administrations and use them in various capacity building projects, in particular, by setting up a pool of specialists who could advice and support on behalf of the WCO. These experts have first to go through what is known as "WCO accreditation workshops" in order to prove that they meet the WCO requirements before they can qualify as WCO experts.

One such workshop was held from 18 to 21 June 2013 in the Regional Training Centre in Astana (Kazakhstan) and was aimed at selecting candidates for accreditation as Customs Modernization Advisors. The event was aimed at identifying Russian-speaking experts with sound knowledge of various WCO instruments and standards, as well as good understanding of the holistic approach to capacity building and organisational development. The Workshop was the result of joint efforts of the WCO, the OSCE, the Regional Office of Capacity Building for the Europe Region and the RTC Astana.

In his opening remarks, the representative of the OSCE Mr. László Szücs emphasised that the financial contribution provided by donors through the OSCE was to support the WCO in its effort to sustain the capacity building momentum in the Europe Region in the area of Customs modernization, which would contribute to developing the Region’s own capacity in this field. He expressed his appreciation of the work pursued by the WCO in this important sphere.

Out of 12 officers (from 8 countries of the Region) who attended the Workshop, five have been admitted to the next stage of accreditation, which involves participation in a field mission to complete the process of accreditation. Moreover, some of the participants having in-depth knowledge of specific technical subjects can be considered for possible accreditation as Technical Operational Advisors - another category of advisors very much in demand during Phase II of the Columbus Programme. The Workshop was, furthermore, a good opportunity to enhance the advisory skills of all participants, and their level of awareness of various WCO tools and projects.

During the closing ceremony, the Head of the Regional Office for Capacity Building (Europe) Mr. Vitali Mikeladze congratulated the participants on the successful completion of the Workshop stating that he was looking forward to continued active co-operation between the WCO, its accredited experts and Member administrations to further the Capacity Building agenda of the WCO and the Region.

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