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50th anniversary of Customs of the Republic of Congo

30 septiembre 2015

At the invitation of the Director General of Customs of the Republic of Congo, Mr. Jean-Alfred Onanga, WCO Secretary General Kunio Mikuriya participated in the ceremony commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the founding of Congolese Customs, held in Brazzaville on 26 and 27 September 2015.

The Director General of Cameroon Customs and WCO Vice-Chair for West and Central Africa, Ms. Minette Libom Li Likeng, also attended the ceremony, together with several other Heads of Customs from countries in the region as well as representatives of French Customs.

The origins of the current Customs Administration of the Republic of Congo go back to the Brazzaville Treaty signed on 8 December 1964.  That Treaty allowed each Member country of the former Equatorial Customs Union, namely Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Republic of Congo and Gabon, to establish its own Customs administration and formed the Customs and Economic Union of Central Africa.

The opening ceremony began with a welcome address by Director General Onanga, followed by a keynote speech by Secretary General Mikuriya and the official opening declaration by the Minister of Finance of the Republic of Congo, Mr. Gilbert Ondongo. 

On behalf of the WCO's 180 Members, Mr. Mikuriya congratulated Congolese Customs on its progress, explained about the direction of Customs in the 21st Century, spoke about the contribution of Congolese Customs to the WCO, including the WCO Regional Training Centre, and thanked the Government of the Republic of Congo for its support for Customs modernization.

After a paramilitary parade by Customs officers, a conference was held on the history of Congolese Customs and its future, followed by the viewing of an exhibition of photos of Customs buildings across the country. 

On the second day Customs officers and the invited guests attended the unveiling of a commemorative plaque dedicated to Customs officers who had died during their service.

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Photos:

(1) At the invitation of the Customs DG of the Republic of Congo, Mr. Jean-Alfred Onanga, WCO Secretary General Kunio Mikuriya participated in the 50th Anniversary ceremony of the founding of Congolese Customs; (2) The ceremony was officially opened by the declaration of the Minister of Finance Ondongo (right of Mr. Mikuriya); (3) Directors General from neighbouring countries were also present at this ceremony.