WCO and CLDP successfully deliver joint integrity action plan for the Afghan Customs Department

07 May 2018

Building on a two year history of collaboration between the WCO and the Afghan Customs Department (ACD), Ministry of Finance, Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, the WCO – working in close collaboration with the Commercial Law Development Program (CLDP), United States Department of Commerce successfully delivered an integrity action plan for the ACD. Building on Afghanistan’s accession to the Arusha Declaration on Customs Integrity in July 2017, the integrity action plan is part of the ACD’s wider strategic plan for 2018 – 2022.

The workshop was opened by Mr. Ahmad Reshad Popal, Director General and included 12 senior management and operational officials from different units of the ACD, who actively contributed to a fulsome discussion which produced a set of specific actions to enable a comprehensive exploration of questions related to leadership commitment, automation, reform, modernization, audit / investigation, code of conduct, transparency, private sector relations, along with question of internal organizational culture and morale.

The workshop included participation from two senior attorneys from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Ethics Law and Programs Division, Office of the General Counsel, who provided practical, hands-on training on workplace ethical dilemmas, using examples from the Department’s own training materials.

The resulting Integrity Action Plan will provide the basis for the ACD’s senior management to implement its Arusha Declaration commitments, as part of the wider implementation of the 2018 – 2022 strategic plan, which includes the implementation of the WTO Agreement on Trade Facilitation (TFA), and it will allow for the identification of priority areas where the WCO’s unique package of global standards, instruments, and tools, along with its Customs-to-Customs network of experts could contribute effectively to these reform and modernization efforts.

The WCO’s engagement in this event took place within the framework of the HMRC-WCO-UNCTAD TFA Capacity Building Programme with the generous financial and technical support of Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) of the United Kingdom.  The WCO would also like to express its thanks to the Spanish Customs Administration, the United Kingdom Border Force and the United States Department of Commerce for their critical technical inputs into the action plan.