WCO Europe Regional Heads of Customs Conference

24 April 2015

At the invitation of Mr Heinz Zourek, Director General of DG TAXUD, European Commission and Vice-Chair of the Europe Region of the WCO, Secretary General Kunio Mikuriya attended the Heads of Customs Conference of the WCO Region Europe from April 23 to 24. The Conference was hosted by Mr. Jacek Kapica, Director General of Polish Customs in Wroclaw, Poland.

Opening the Conference Mr. Mateusz Szczurek, Poland’s Minister of Finance, welcomed the delegates from the Region. He emphasised the important and diverse role of Customs ranging from traditional revenue collection to facilitating trade for legitimate business, protecting society and contributing to economic prosperity.

Secretary General Mikuriya briefed the Conference participants on WCO current priorities, based on its Strategic Plan, including the WCO Mercator Programme for implementing the WTO Agreement on Trade Facilitation, Coordinated Border Management (CBM), the revision of the SAFE Framework of Standards and the Security Programme to assist in combating terrorism. He also spoke about Performance Measurement, one of the outcomes of the December 2014 Policy Commission session, explaining the subsequent work carried out on developing performance indicators for which the Conference expressed strong support.

The Conference discussed a broad range of issues including the work and status of the Regional Intelligence Liaison Offices (RILO) and the Regional Office for Capacity Building (ROCB), Finance and Audit Committee outcomes, information exchange, CBM, Strategic Planning, approved the  Non-intrusive Inspection centre of Saint- Petersburg as a Centre of Excellence, approved the Regional Dog Training of Azerbaijan as a WCO Regional Centre, and discussed developments and election procedures for the positions of Chair of Council and Regional Vice-Chairs.

The Directors General approved the following Members to serve on the Policy Commission for the Region: EU (as Vice-Chair), France, Spain, Germany, UK, Cyprus, Slovenia, Russian Federation and Denmark (Belgium has observer status). The Finance Committee members for the Region for the next year will be: Ireland, Germany, France, Italy, UK, Spain, Switzerland and Kazakhstan. The Russian Federation (nominated as Chair of the Committee) and Norway will be the representatives on the Audit Committee. The EU will be nominated to continue as Vice-Chair of the Europe Region.

Secretary General Mikuriya expressed his appreciation to the Polish administration for the warm welcome extended to delegates and the excellent organisation of the event.

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Photo:

From left to right: Mr. Mateusz Szczurek, Poland’s Finance Minister, Ms. Susanne Jacobsen, Head of sector, DG TAXUD, European Commission, Mr Heinz Zourek, Director General of DG TAXUD, European Commission and Vice-Chair of the Europe Region of the WCO, Secretary General Kunio Mikuriya

Photo

  • From left to right: Mr. Mateusz Szczurek, Poland’s Finance Minister, Ms. Susanne Jacobsen, Head of sector, DG TAXUD, European Commission, Mr Heinz Zourek, Director General of DG TAXUD, European Commission and Vice-Chair of the Europe Region of the WCO, Secretary General Kunio Mikuriya

    From left to right: Mr. Mateusz Szczurek, Poland’s Finance Minister, Ms. Susanne Jacobsen, Head of sector, DG TAXUD, European Commission, Mr Heinz Zourek, Director General of DG TAXUD, European Commission and Vice-Chair of the Europe Region of the WCO, Secretary General Kunio Mikuriya

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