6th meeting of the regional structures of the WCO Europe Region held in Kazakhstan

15 octubre 2013

- Article provided by the ROCB for the Europe Region, available in English only -

On 2-4 October 2013 representatives of the Europe Regional Office for Capacity Building (ROCB) and Regional Training Centres (RTCs) met in Kazakhstan at the invitation of the Kazakh Customs Administration and the RTC Astana. The meeting was also attended by representatives of the WCO Secretariat and the office of the Vice-Chair for the Europe Region (Azerbaijan).

The representatives of the Vice-Chair informed the participants on the plans to hold a series of regional events in the current year both in the field of capacity building and law enforcement. A conference of the heads of Europe Customs Enforcement bodies will be held in November 2013 in Skopje (the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia), as well as the first European Heads of National Training Centres conference in early 2014.

The WCO Regional Development Manager for Europe provided an overview of the ongoing work of the Secretariat, Members and regional structures to implement the decisions and directions provided by the WCO Capacity Building Committee and elaborated on the scope of current Capacity Building priorities for the Europe region. Special attention was paid to the ongoing work on professionalism and human resources development in Customs. Under this umbrella, information related to Members’ National Training Centers and their training programs/curricula has been collected and shared using the WCO CLiKC! platform.

A detailed annual progress report by the ROCB and further plans on the implementation of priority tasks according to the CB Strategy of the region for 2011-2014 and recommendations of the last European Heads of Customs in Oslo (Norway) were presented to the meeting. In addition, a project of regional contact points networking is being implemented, a new web portal has been launched, and the first ROCB e-Newsletter has been issued.

The implementation of the Europe regional initiative of providing Capacity Building mutual assistance to Members has started. Under this ROCB initiative information of regional specialists in different fields of Customs work has been collected, resulting in more than 80 nominees from 14 European countries. At present, the ROCB in cooperation with the Secretariat is working on piloting this new initiative through one or two bilateral cooperation projects.

The participants were also familiarized with the state of play regarding the translation of the main WCO instruments and materials into Russian. More than 80 documents have already been translated, and will be available for the Russian-speaking regional Members in the near future. Translation of a number of WCO e-learning modules is also under way.

Representatives of the Regional Training Centers reported about their activities over the past year and the progress achieved in the implementation of their projects. The RTCs of Azerbaijan and Russia have been developing projects to establish regional Centers of Excellence in the fields of IT and NII respectively. In April this year RTC Ukraine published the next issue of the regional Scientific Journal "Customs" in two languages - English and Russian. The RTCs of Astana and Moscow actively use modern technologies to allow for interactive workshops benefitting both administrations at the same time.

Animated discussions took place on all the agenda items and participants vowed their continued support and readiness for active contributions to the initiatives of the WCO and ROCB in the area of Capacity Building and Professionalism in Customs.

Further information based on this article is published by the ROCB (http://rocb-europe.org/en/).