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The 7th WCO PICARD Conference

28 septiembre 2012

The 7th WCO PICARD Conference

Morocco, 25-27 September 2012


Over 230 delegates representing WCO Members, the academic world, international organizations, the private sector, donor organizations and other interested parties attended the 7th WCO Conference on the Partnership in Customs Academic Research and Development (PICARD) hosted by the University of Cadi Ayyad in partnership with Morocco Customs and the WCO in Marrakesh, Morocco from 25-27 September 2012.

The Conference was co-chaired by Prof. Michael Wolffgang, University of Münster, and Prof. M’barek Benchanaa and Prof. Abdullah Ait Ouahman from the University of Cadi Ayyad. The Conference focused on three main topics: The Impact of Regional Economic Integration and Preferential Trade Arrangements on Customs Services; Emerging and Evolving Risks; and Customs Strategic Human Resource Management.

In his welcome speech, the Secretary General of the WCO, Kunio Mikuriya, stated that the annual PICARD Conference is aimed at promoting high level exchanges on Customs education and professionalism and to encourage more research in cooperation with universities and research institutes. He particularly stressed the linkage between the Conference topics and the WCO’s Leadership and Management Development (LMD) Programme and capacity building programmes, including WCO tools, such as the Revenue Package, the Economic Competitiveness Package and the Orientation Package for Decision Makers.

Besides the many presentations on research outcomes and the panel discussions, this year’s agenda also included specific workshops on Customs Competence Development and Professional Education Recognition, IT Developments and Human Resource Management Challenges, and Women in Leadership. Discussions on these key HR issues led to intense interaction among participants.


During the Conference, a draft PICARD 2020 strategic document on the future of the PICARD Programme was introduced and discussed, which will be further updated in the course of the coming months and then presented to the next Session of the WCO Capacity Building Committee for consideration. In addition, the WCO and the World Bank presented their new collective book “Reform by Numbers: Measurement Applied to Customs and Tax Administrations in Developing Countries”.

The WCO takes this opportunity to thank the Uiversity of Cadi Ayyad and the Moroccan Customs administration for their wonderful hospitality and outstanding support during this year’s Conference, and is looking forward to next year’s PICARD Conference which will take place in St. Petersburg, Russia, in September 2013.