WCO Publishes Performance Measurement Contracts Guide

07 August 2014

The WCO has published a new guide called "The Why & How of Performance Measurement Contracts" (WCO PMC Guide). The WCO PMC Guide describes an innovative approach to targeted improvements in Customs border controls using data extracted from Customs clearance systems; measurement; and performance contracts between Customs Directors General and frontline Customs officers.

As evidenced by its successful implementation in several countries, performance measurement contracting is beneficial in identifying and reducing deficiencies in Customs procedures in order to directly benefit Customs objectives, such as revenue collection and trade facilitation.

The PMC pioneer was the Customs Administration of Cameroon, which launched an exhaustive Customs reform in 2007. The reform began with the installation of a sophisticated automated Customs clearance system which enabled the administration not only to track the processing of each consignment but also to measure a number of criteria relevant to the reform. Customs officers subsequently signed individual performance contracts intended to measure their actions. Within a short time after PMC implementation, the administration achieved improved results in terms of revenue generated by duties and taxes and by disputed claims; faster clearance times; and reduced corruption. PMC is also being used in Togo and Liberia.

The WCO PMC Guide’s overall purpose is to explain the rationale behind performance measurement, to elucidate the context in which it is particularly useful, to show the advantages of being able to "speak the same language," and thus to recognize the same border realities.