WCO Secretary General participates in talks to prepare Lebanon Customs reform and modernization

01 September 2020

At the invitation of the President of the Lebanese Higher Council of Customs, Mr. Assaad Tfaily, WCO Secretary General Dr. Kunio Mikuriya had a conference call on 31 August to discuss the reform and modernization of Lebanon Customs. This request followed the tragic explosion at the Beirut port on 4 August. Both WCO and Lebanon Customs agreed on the way forward for tackling this national priority.

During the call, Mr. Assaad was accompanied by other Higher Council members, namely, Mr. Hani El Haj Chehade, Mrs Gracia kazzi, as well as Mr. Raymond El Khoury, Acting Director General of Lebanon Customs Administration and Mr. Hisham F. Abou-Ibrahim, senior adviser to the President of the Lebanese Higher Council of Customs. This composition showed the willingness, preparedness and support for Customs reform by all parties in Lebanon.

The Lebanese representatives expressed their short-term need of infrastructure, including IT equipment, building and vehicles, damaged by the blast as well as the mid-term need of Customs modernization, including a new Customs Code based on the WCO and other international standards such as the Revised Kyoto Convention (RKC) and the SAFE Framework of Standards to Secure and Facilitate Global Trade, administrative structure and strategic planning.  The WCO suggested the comprehensive diagnostic approach to identify the concrete needs, based on the previous work undertaken by the WCO in Lebanon.

Contacts were designated and all parties agreed to keep on coordinating to determine the work schedule in the immediate future.