Uruguay Customs pursues its reform and modernization strategy

21 November 2011

Uruguay Customs pursues its reform and modernization strategy

Montevideo, 21-25 November 2011

Since 2009, the National Directorate of Customs of Uruguay has been diligently pursuing a reform and modernization process that will ensure this administration is able to contribute to the country´s vision to become a logistics hub in South America.

The Uruguay Customs administration has outlined an ambitious programme to implement international standards and effective management that will see it become a modern Customs administration. The project, funded jointly by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the Government of Uruguay will tackle improvements in the areas of Customs procedures, increased use of technology, and human resources development. Over the past year, the administration has developed a structured modernization plan complemented with key success indicators, and has already introduced a number of changes.

At the request of the National Director, the WCO was invited once again, under the auspices of the WCO Columbus Programme, to provide strategic advice and to conduct a preliminary assessment of the progress thus far in terms of modernization.

Mr. Daniel Perrier, WCO Secretariat, travelled to Montevideo, Uruguay from November 21 to 25, 2011, and met with the Senior management team, as well as several key Customs officials from different units. Visits to the Port of Montevideo and the International Airport of Carrasco complemented discussions and were instrumental to identify the challenges and improvements on the ground. These meetings and site visits served as the basis for the stock-taking mission, and the preparation of recommendations in a number of aspects.

The WCO mission was also an opportunity to meet with other key stakeholders from the private sector including Customs brokers, freight forwarders, shipping lines, and the Exporters Union. All partners expressed great satisfaction with the current efforts deployed by the administration and reiterated their commitment to the reform. A meeting with the National institute for logistics (INALOG), a joint public-private organization established to lead the way forward with the establishment of Uruguay as an important logistics hub, provided insight into a clear way forward for this South American nation.

A conclusion meeting was held with the National Director to review findings and discuss recommendations and future cooperation between the WCO and Uruguay Customs. The National Director expressed great satisfaction with the support provided by the WCO under the Columbus Programme, and reiterated his wish for continued assistance in other areas including E-Learning, Integrity development, and Leadership and Management Development.

This mission was made possible by funding provided through the Eurocustoms fund.

Uruguay Customs - Modernization website