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PICARD Programme

What is PICARD?

Partnerships in Customs Academic Research and Development.

Where did it start?

Recognizing the importance of knowledge and education in the field of Customs, and that little was known about developments internationally, the WCO initiated a series of meetings with Universities and Academic Institutions during 2005.

The first informal meeting between the WCO Secretariat and Universities and Research Institutes was held at the World Customs Organization Headquarters in May 2005. Representatives from universities met to discuss possibilities of co-operation between the academic world and Customs in the field of capacity building. The meeting announced the establishment of the International Network of Customs Universities (INCU) which is accessible at:

PICARD Professional Standards

The demands of globalization and modernization require a greater understanding of the political, economic and trading environment in which Customs is expected to operate. To meet the demands of modern times, it is necessary to develop and apply new management techniques and technologies. This new manager therefore requires a distinct set of knowledge, skills and behaviors which can only be delivered through a more professional approach to development and career management.

Working with the INCU, WCO developed first draft international standards of recognition for Customs related education. It is intended to provide WCO recognition to qualifying curricula and graduates therefrom.

PICARD Professional Standards [en] [fr] were finalized at the 2nd PICARD conference and updated in 2019.

In 2019 the WCO CBC endorsed the Guidelines on Recognition of University Customs Curricula [fr] to facilitate the evaluation of university curricula to ensure their conformity with the PICARD Professional Standards. Universities that wish to have their courses officially recognized as meeting the PICARD Professional Standards can apply to the WCO.

PICARD Conferences

Since its inception, several PICARD Conferences were successfully held, where participants were provided with an opportunity to interact with their government, commercial and academic counterparts from around the world. This annual event has been previously held in Brussels in 2006 and 2007, Shanghai in 2008, San José in 2009, Abu Dhabi in 2010, Geneva in 2011, Marrakesh in 2012, St. Petersburg in 2013, Puebla in 2014, Baku in 2015, Manila in 2016, Hammamet in 2017, Malatya in 2018 and Skopje in 2019.

International Network of Customs Universities (INCU)

The International Network of Customs Universities (INCU) is an international not-for-profit organisation established to promote the academic standing of the Customs profession, promote academic excellence and support research in Customs matters, and provide the World Customs Organization and other organisations with a single point of contact with universities and research institutes that are active in the field of customs research, education and training. The INCU is also designed to provide a global resource for governments and the private sector, and an educational source for students wishing to further their knowledge in the field of customs management and administration, and international trade and logistics management.

World Customs Journal

The INCU produces the World Customs Journal (WCJ), which is its flagship publication. The Journal includes contributions from both academics and other interested parties. It provides customs professionals, academics, industry researchers, and research students with an opportunity to share and draw upon research, academic commentary and practical insights to enhance its readers' knowledge and understanding of all aspects of the roles and responsibilities of Customs. Submission details and guidelines for contributors are available on the WCJ website.