WCO supports Cuban Customs with technical assistance to implement the WCO Data Model

21 February 2018

The WCO Secretariat conducted a Mercator Programme scoping mission in Cuba back in April 2017. As a result, it was decided that implementation of the WCO Data Model (DM) was a priority for Cuban Customs and other Cuban government agencies in order to simplify and standardize the information required from traders, as well as to allow interoperability between government agencies. Cuban Customs’ modernization strategy consequently anticipates alignment with the latest version of the WCO DM. To make this a reality, the Cuban Administration asked for WCO assistance with the adoption of national data elements aligned with the WCO DM. In response to this request, the WCO organized a National Workshop on the WCO Data Model, held from 12 to 16 February 2018 in Havana, Cuba. The Workshop took place thanks to the valuable and experienced support of a WCO-recognized Expert from the Uruguayan Customs Administration.

The Workshop was inaugurated by Ms. Idalmis Rosales Milanés, Deputy Head of the General Customs of the Republic of Cuba. In her opening remarks, Ms. Idalmis Rosales Milanés stressed the Cuban Customs Administration’s priority of implementing international standards to facilitate interoperability between its automated systems and those of other government agencies and external stakeholders, taking particular account of the current project to develop an integrated system for the management of Cuban Customs processes and a Single Window to be used for Customs’ interaction with external stakeholders.

The WCO Expert pointed out that the WCO DM, in its capacity as an instrument to facilitate exchange of information with all relevant stakeholders at the border, is a valuable tool for undertaking data harmonization based on international standards; this is fundamental for implementation of a Single Window environment. The WCO DM is considered as the universal e-language of Customs, encouraging interoperability between government agencies and expediting the operation of many processes relating to border management.

Through the information and explanations provided during the Workshop, participants gained an understanding of the strategic value of compliance with internationally-standardized regulatory information requirements, as well as gaining an insight into the core concept of the WCO DM. In addition, the WCO encouraged Cuban Customs to develop a National Information Package. To familiarize participants with the WCO DM data elements, the latter were invited to undertake an exercise to map the data elements of their national forms with the WCO DM by following the “two-step method”: identifying the corresponding WCO DM element for each national data field, followed by building the information structure based on specific WCO DM information.

In his closing remarks, Mr. Nelson Cordoves Reyes, First Deputy Head of the General Customs of the Republic of Cuba, expressed his gratitude for the organization of this important Workshop and stressed his great interest in close cooperation between Cuban Customs and the WCO.