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WCO Mercator Programme Advisors accreditation workshop in Fortaleza, Brazil, 7 - 11 August 2017

25 août 2017

A WCO workshop on the accreditation of Mercator Programme Advisors (MPAs) for Spanish speakers was held in Fortaleza, Brazil, from 7 to 11 August 2017.

MPAs can be described as a specialized Customs Modernization Advisor (CMA) category. They are experts who have the traditional CMA skills but have also demonstrated the skills and knowledge to assist Members with implementation of the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) at a strategic level.  MPAs typically come from middle to senior management positions and also typically have specific experience and expertise in areas such as risk management, stakeholder engagement, coordinated border management or other strategic areas.

MPAs are called upon to support administrations with organizational (or Government) gap analysis, planning and implementation of the TFA and providing advice and guidance in establishing National Committees on Trade Facilitation (NCTF’s).  MPA support comes with a capacity to accompany, guide and mentor organizations towards implementing trade facilitation reforms and modernizing processes. MPAs, once accredited, will be invited to carry out TF/TFA-related missions and related support under the WCO Mercator Programme.

MPA accreditation workshops are part of the WCO's strategic approach to obtain wider access to Capacity Building experts and to ensure their qualified and standardized level of support to Members. The WCO accreditation process is a 2-step approach. The first step being successful completion of the MPA workshop, followed by successfully conducting an in-field mission as co-facilitator.

Customs officers from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Mexico, Paraguay, Spain and Uruguay participated in this workshop. They were assessed against the required MPA profile through a series of simulation exercises, presentations, role-plays, group activities and plenary discussions. Participants were also required to demonstrate their knowledge and strategic application of core WCO standards, tools and instruments and the WTO TFA along with their potential to facilitate discussion with senior Customs officials in a strategic context.

Ten participants were assessed as being suitable to progress to a second-step in country mission as MPAs and will be invited to participate in strategic planning or TFA implementation/ scoping support missions under the Mercator Programme.