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Latvian Customs’ co-operation with the Riga Technical University

31 mayo 2011

Latvian Customs’ co-operation with the Riga Technical University (RTU)

Riga, 18-20 May 2011

Riga Technical University, International Business and Customs Institute, from left to right: Mr. Aivars Krastins, RTU, Ms. Heike Barczyk, WCO, Mr. Jan Janson, RTU

Upon invitation of the Riga Technical University (RTU), one of the founding contributors of the WCO PICARD Programme, the Deputy Director Capacity Building, Ms. Heike Barczyk, visited Riga from 18 to 20 May 2011.

The visit concentrated on one of the priorities identified during the 2nd Capacity Building Committee - the professionalism of Customs, the respective investments in Human Resources, leadership and management development as well as the related formation and training needs. Latviafollows a close co-operation model between the Latvian State Revenue Service, the private sector and the RTU – the instructions are organized at the RTU instead of at a specialized educational establishment like a Customs Academy or a Customs Training Center. The RTU organizes both studies as well as qualification advancement courses to customs officers and customs clients (customs brokers, declarants’ authorized agents, and entrepreneurs). The RTU offers training of customs managers and specialists since 1994, in the area of taxes since 2004. Since the launch of these specializations approximately 7,000 persons have graduated from the RTU having acquired a higher education in customs and tax administration. Currently there are more than 1,000 students registered in these specializations. Discussions with the RTU around leadership and management development also focused on the possible future acknowledgement of the WCO Management Development Programme as pre-learning to the studies in Riga.

During her visit, the Deputy Directorhad the opportunity to meet with various stakeholders involved in the Latvian formation model - the Deputy Director General for Tax Affairs of the Latvian State Revenue Service, Mr. Aigars Undzens, two Deputy Directors of the National Customs Board, Mr. Aivars Eglitis and Ms. Ingrida Gulbe-Otanke, the Chairman of the Board of the Latvian Logistics Association, Mr. Aivars Taurins. All stakeholders expressed theirstrong support of the co-operation model in place in Latvia, as well as their willingness to share their experience with the wider Customs and academic community, e.g. during the upcoming PICARD Conference in Geneva on 14-16 September 2011.