Successful 5th Session of the Capacity Building Committee

10 April 2014

(Brussels, 31 March – 2 April 2014)

"Strong People – Strong Organizations"

Around 240 registered high-level participants from WCO Member administrations and stakeholder organizations met at the 5th session of the WCO Capacity Building Committee (CBC) held in Brussels from 31 March to 2 April 2014.

The WCO Secretary General, Mr. Kunio Mikuriya, opened the session and summarized the broad range of work delivered since last year’s meeting. He noted that it was a critical moment for all Customs administrations to consider their strategies following the recent adoption of the WTO Agreement on Trade Facilitation and reassured members that the WCO was well positioned to assist Members in the implementation of the provisions of the Agreement, as well as providing continuous support for Customs reform and modernization programmes.

The Director Capacity Building, Mr. Erich Kieck, briefed the Committee on the WCO Capacity Building Progress Report since the last session of the CBC in February 2013. He highlighted that over 280 WCO Capacity Building activities and missions were scheduled to be delivered during the current WCO 2013/2014 financial year. The Director also outlined the significance for the WCO and the need for the Customs community to be responsive in addressing a constantly changing Customs and trade environment. The Committee underlined the importance of results-based delivery and management, as demonstrated by several specific examples shared by the Director.

The opening panel session with the theme "Strong People – Strong Organizations: Investing in People as the basis for Organizational Development" launched the discussions and covered competency frameworks, people development strategies and supporting infrastructure. The role of leaders in guiding these issues was underlined.

The Committee welcomed and/or endorsed several documents/initiatives, including: 

  • the EU Customs Competency Framework that was handed over by the EU to the WCO for potential use in other WCO Members;
  • the WCO Framework of Principles and Practices on Customs Professionalism, and specifically section V on Customs Career Path Development;
  • the WCO People Development Interactive Map on the CLiKC! platform;
  • the new WCO Gender Equality Organizational Assessment Tool;
  • the update of the Chapter on Donor Engagement of the WCO Capacity Building Development Compendium;
  • the new annex to the WCO Orientation Package for Decision-makers contributed by the Private Sector Consultative Group;
  • the envisaged development of a WCO People Development/Training Diagnostic Tool.

Participants of the CBC also benefitted from several lunch break events which provided insights into ongoing WCO Capacity Building projects and initiatives. During one evening reception, the Dutch Customs Band contributed to the exceptional atmosphere of the meeting.

The 5th session of the CBC was chaired by Mr. Ernani Checcucci (Brazil). He was re-elected as the Chairperson and Mr. Dato' Abd Rahman OTHMAN (Malaysia) was elected as the Vice-Chairperson for the next CBC session which will take place in Brussels at the end of February 2015.

An executive summary as well as a full report of this year's CBC meeting will be sent to participants shortly.