WCO Symposium on Protecting Customs Institutions from Organized Crime

START DATE 27 November 2023
END DATE 28 November 2023
LOCATION Hybrid (Online / WCO Headquarters, Brussels)



In the last few years, with the initiation of the WCO Anti-Corruption and Integrity-Promotion (A-CIP) technical assistance and capacity building programme for Customs in 2019, the WCO has been helping Members look towards new ways to tackle corruption within their ranks, in its many forms.

One such form of corruption in Customs institutions is that which results from infiltration or coercion by organized crime. A common question among WCO Members is: “What measures can Customs institutions take to protect officers from organized crime and corruption driven by physical threat?”

To this end, the WCO has leveraged its existing activities and network of the A-CIP Programme, including links with leading anti-corruption think tanks. It has so made the connection with current and upcoming work on supply chain integrity.

This online symposium aims to bring together different parties who have been working on the issue to date, and combine lessons learned from academia and other sectors’ experience including private sector and law enforcement together in a vibrant discussion with WCO Members around the question.

The agenda will include:

1. Presentations of the results of the synthesis study conducted by Transparency International and the U4 anti-corruption resource center, linked to the WCO A-CIP Programme through its mutual sponsor, Norway.

2. Examples from other institutions on concrete measures they take to resist infiltration by organized crime, including members of the WCO Private Sector Consultative Group as well as other law enforcement agencies.

3. Interventions by WCO Members contributing their experiences, detailing their challenges in this area and applicable responses.

The expected outcomes of this meeting will be a document summary of the Symposium discussions’ response to the question “What measures can Customs institutions take to protect officers from organized crime and corruption driven by physical threat?” as well as Identification of links with the ongoing work of key WCO working bodies.

The Symposium is sponsored and organized by the WCO A-CIP Programme with technical contributions from the ABF-WCO Supply Chain Integrity project.

DATE AND TIME: 27-28 November 2023, 13:00 -15:30 CET.

ATTENDEES: The symposium is open to public with a view to encourage active engagement of Customs administrations, IGOs, private sector, as well as academia on this topic.

FORMAT: The symposium will be held in a hybrid format.

REGISTRATION: Attendees may choose to attend in-person at the WCO Headquarters in Brussels or online when registering. Registrations may be subject to review and approval.

LANGUAGES: English, French and Spanish.