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Successful launch of the first WCO Knowledge Academy for Customs & Trade

18 julio 2011

Successful launch of the first WCO Knowledge Academy for Customs & Trade

Brussels, 28 June - 8 July 2011


The launch of the first WCO Knowledge Academy for Customs & Trade took place on the heels of the WCO Open Day for Trade, and ran for eight days, from 28 June to 8 July 2011. This event was co-organized with the Demos Group. Over 50 experts from both the private sector and WCO Member administrations travelled to Brussels from all parts of the world to attend the Academy.

In total, 11 modules were offered within three learning tracks. The first two targeted the private sector and focused on key areas of WCO work, namely tariff and trade affairs (HS 2012, Rules of Origin, Valuation, Transfer Pricing), and facilitation and enforcement (WCO Data Model, AEO/SAFE, Risk Management). The third track was designed for WCO Member administrations.

In addition to classroom training and plenary sessions, participants travelled to the Port of Rotterdam for a presentation by Dutch Customs followed by a boat tour of the port sponsored by L-3 Communications. This visit provided participants with the opportunity to see Customs procedures that were discussed and analyzed during the Academy in actual operation.

Thirty-four speakers, trainers and facilitators were involved: 17 were WCO staff members and they were joined by 17 external experts who were invited to address participants in either plenary sessions or during one of the training courses. Speakers included experts from three international organizations: the World Trade Organization (WTO); the International Monetary Fund (IMF); and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

A representative from the German Marshall Fund (GMF), a think-tank on transatlantic and international relations, and speakers from two international associations, namely the Global Express Association (GEA) and the International Chamber of Commerce/World Chambers Federation (ICC-WCF) shared their insights on Customs and trade issues.

In addition to the ICC-WCF, represented by the Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Belgium, representatives from the US Chamber of Commerce and the British Chamber of Commerce attended the Academy.

Microsoft, a leader in software development, and L-3 Communications, a prime contractor in the electronic systems industry, provided sponsorship and funding. Recognized experts in supply chain security from Conceptivity, legal experts in international trade and regulatory laws from the law firm of Van Bael & Bellis, and legal advisors on international corporate tax and transfer pricing issues from KPMG delivered presentations during the plenary sessions for all participants.

Experts from WCO Member administrations, in particular the Head of Trade Relations at Dutch Customs and the Special Customs Representative from Norway in his capacity as Chair of the WCO Integrity Sub-Committee, also shared their experiences.

Overall, contributions from participants from over 30 countries sharing their perspectives during the intense learning experience at the Academy created a unique environment for knowledge sharing in the domain of Customs and trade operations.

The next Knowledge Academy is expected to take place in July 2012. Interested participants are invited to consult the events section of the WCO public website regularly for more information.