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The 11th PICARD Research Conference concludes in Manila

30 septiembre 2016

The 11th annual WCO PICARD Conference, which ran from 27 to 29 September 2016 in Manila, Philippines, ended on a high note after three days of thought-provoking presentations by invited speakers, followed by dynamic discussions among participants.  

The annual PICARD Conferences have positively impacted the work of Customs since 2006, providing a platform for informed dialogue between Customs administrations, universities, and research institutes on topics relevant to Customs and international trade.  

Hosted by the Philippine Bureau of Customs, the Conference kicked off with opening remarks by WCO Secretary General Kunio Mikuriya, the Commissioner of the Philippine Bureau of Customs Captain Nicanor Faeldon, and the Undersecretary of the Department of Finance of the Philippines Antonette Tionko.

The Conference welcomed over 250 participants from 54 countries, representing Customs administrations, academic and research communities, international and regional organizations, and the private sector.  

In his address, Secretary General Mikuriya expressed his gratitude to the Philippine Bureau of Customs for hosting the PICARD Conference, extended a warm welcome to the participants, and thanked the Korea Customs Service (KCS) for supporting the participation of some speakers.  

Mr. Mikuriya noted that “research activities and discussions on topics relating to Digital Customs, revenue matters, illicit trade, and security, the four focus topics for this year’s Conference, greatly support the Customs community and its stakeholders in their daily work and decision-making processes.”  

Commissioner Faeldon noted that, “The Philippines Bureau of Customs is proud to have been given the opportunity to bring to fruition an idea that was first conceived some five years ago; to bring the premier international conference on Customs and academic matters to the capital Manila. It has been our distinct pleasure to welcome delegates from 54 countries to explore Manila, and the many new ideas and concepts generated during the Conference that will underscore the development of Customs-related policy going forward.” 

The Conference benefited from an interdisciplinary approach to research and policy analysis on Customs matters, international trade, and borders.

A keynote address on tobacco control and taxation was given by Luk Joossens from the Belgian Foundation against Cancer and Association of European Cancer Leagues. The keynote was followed by a panel on tobacco control consisting of Ulysses Dorotheo (the FCTC Program Director of the Southeast Asia Tobacco Control Alliance in Manila), Emma Teodoro (the President of CAI-STA Philippines Inc.), and Caroline Miller (the Director of Population Health Research at the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute).

The Conference concluded with a Youth Forum, enabling students from universities across China, the Philippines, Russia and Ukraine to discuss topics integral to Customs as well as future career possibilities in Customs and in the international trade arena.  

In closing the Conference, Robert Ireland, the Head of the WCO Research Unit, expressed his gratitude to the Philippine Bureau of Customs for their outstanding hospitality and efforts in making the 11th PICARD Conference a great success and paraphrased the writer David Simon by saying that “the PICARD Conference is building something here, and all the pieces matter.”  

The WCO was proud to celebrate the 11th anniversary of the PICARD Conference in Manila, once again providing an opportunity for Customs officials and academics to meet, network and exchange ideas, thereby supporting decision-making processes in Customs and border management.