The slogan “Break the corruption chain” marks International Anti-Corruption Day

09 December 2014

On 9 December 2014, International Anti-Corruption Day, the World Customs Organization (WCO) is joining forces with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in their efforts to fight corruption, as corruption in Customs may not only undermine public trust in government administrations but also affect trade and, ultimately, the well-being of all citizens.

Through its Arusha Declaration, first adopted in 1993 and revised in 2003, the WCO and its Members fully recognize the importance of integrity in Customs, seeing it as a prerequisite for the proper fulfilment of key Customs functions in the areas of revenue collection, community protection, trade facilitation and protection of national security.

Over the years, the WCO has developed a series of tools to help its Members implement the provisions of the Declaration.  By using the WCO’s Integrity Development Guide and Model Code of Ethics and Conduct, Member administrations are able to strengthen governance throughout their Customs modernization process, corruption being identified as a major stumbling block to Customs reform.

Among the key WCO instruments at Customs administrations’ disposal, particular note should be taken of the recent publication of the Performance Measurement Contracts Guide.  This instrument explains how, through the use of data contained in Customs IT systems, performance indicators can help WCO Members identify and address inefficiencies and corrupt activities in Customs procedures at borders.

Furthermore, at institutional level, the WCO provides its Members with a forum for discussions on this topic during the annual meeting of its Integrity Sub-Committee and, since 2010, the Organization has been issuing a “Newsletter” on a regular basis enabling best practices to circulate among Members.