Curaçao benefits from strong political support to move forward on Customs reform

13 February 2020

At the invitation of Ms. Soraya Pols-Strick, Curaçao’s Acting Head of Customs, WCO Secretary General Dr. Kunio Mikuriya visited Curaçao on 10 and 11 February 2020 to review the challenges faced by Small Island Economies in the Caribbean region.

Dr. Mikuriya met with Mr. Kenneth Gijsbertha, the Minister of Finance, and with Ms. Giselle McWilliam, the Minister of Economic Development, to discuss the future direction of Curaçao, including accession to the WTO as well as enhanced regional integration, and how Customs could contribute to these policy objectives, while carrying out its traditional revenue collection mission.

In addition, the Secretary General had a meeting with H.E. Mr. Eugene Rhuggenaath, Curaçao’s Prime Minister, who appreciated the WCO vision to ensure connectivity at borders while protecting society from illicit trade including counterfeit goods. They agreed to strengthen cooperation, which was bolstered by the Prime Minister’s strong support for Customs reform.

Secretary General Mikuriya had a wide-ranging discussion with the Customs management team on the way forward for Customs reform in Curaçao, including cooperation with the WCO in this regard. He also observed airport and maritime Customs operations and had a meeting with free zone operators.

Dr. Mikuriya expressed his gratitude for the opportunity to reflect on the WCO’s initiative on Small Island Economies and Curaçao’s willingness for Customs reform, which was supported by the country’s political leaders, as well as the Customs management team and the business community.