WCO Accredited Customs Experts refresher workshop and Mercator Programme Advisors accreditation

21 December 2015

The first WCO accredited Customs Experts refresher workshop and the third workshop on the accreditation of Mercator Programme Advisors (MPAs) was held in Shanghai, China, from 7 to 10 December 2015. It was carried out at the Shanghai Customs College and funded by CCF China under the WCO Mercator Programme.

In order to address the strategic TFA needs of Members, the WCO is currently aiming to enhance its pool of Accredited Customs Experts and is organizing a series of refresher events for a number of already WCO accredited Diagnostic Facilitators (DF’s), Customs Modernization Advisors (CMA’s) and WCO Experts on the provisions of the Revised Kyoto Convention.

This refresher event in Shanghai was designed to incorporate TFA aspects, to enhance the advisory and facilitation skills of the WCO Member Experts and to identify Member Experts who could become MPAs.

MPAs are CMAs with the capacity to accompany, guide and mentor organizations towards implementing trade facilitation reforms and modernizing processes, including implementation of the WTO TFA. Accredited MPAs will be invited to carry out TF/TFA-related missions and related support under the WCO Mercator Programme. They will also be invited to support Members in establishing their National Committees on Trade Facilitation.

19 Customs officers from Angola, Australia, Brazil, China, Indonesia, Jordan, Maldives, Mauritius, South Africa and Viet Nam participated in this workshop. They were refreshed as WCO accredited experts and also assessed against the required MPA profile through a series of testing exercises, presentations, role-plays, group activities and plenary discussions. Participants were also required to demonstrate their knowledge and strategic application of core WCO tools and instruments and the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement along with their potential to facilitate discussion with senior Customs officials in a strategic context.

Fourteen participants were assessed as being suitable to become MPAs and will be invited to participate in TFA implementation support missions under the Mercator Programme. The other participants will continue to provide support to the WCO as accredited expert in their existing specific fields (CMA/ DF/ RKC).